Merle Haggard battled pneumonia from December 2015 up until the day he died on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday.
During that time, he never stopped writing music. Although we will unfortunately not be able to watch him perform this music, he did record from time to time.
Because of his illness, he was forced to cancel a lot of shows in order to take time to rest. Following his passing, the Haggard family “received a tremendous outpouring of love and prayers for Merle,” according to his official website.
They wanted to thank the fans for their support so they decided to release a song, “Kern River Blues“, which is about Haggard’s “memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late 1970s”.
His first posthumous song will be released Thursday (May 12). It has already premiered on Sirius XM’s radio show Willie’s Roadhouse, which was renamed Merle’s Roadhouse for the weekend after he passed away.
The lyrics were read at his memorial in Bakersfield by his sister, Lillian.
According to an announcement by Haggard’s manager Tresa Redburn, the song will be available for purchase from iTunes and that “ten percent of the proceeds from the song’s sale will help homeless charities.”
We can’t wait for the song to be released Thursday!
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