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RAW: Merle Haggard Opens Up About His Career And Time In Prison

Merle haggard Songs | RAW: Merle Haggard Opens Up About His Career And Time In Prison | Country Music Videos
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True country classic, Merle Haggard, opens up about his troubled beginnings...

Raised in a modified railroad boxcar that his dad built, Haggard had some very meager beginnings. His father passed away when he was just nine years old, and his mother was left alone to raise Merle and his siblings. 

"My father was a creative human being. He didn't have much formal education, but he was able to do things with his hands. He built everything inside of that boxcar and made a home out of it. Built a cement step out front and a walkway out to the driveway. It looked just like a regular home."

 Starting down a path of juvenile delinquency just shortly after his father died, Haggard began running away at the mere age of ten. Often stowing away on trains, he got caught up in some trouble and was in and out of institutions well over a dozen times before his 21st birthday. 

"I was 11-years-old when I first hopped a freight train. Didn't go far. Went about a hundred miles, and they arrested me in Fresno."

Fleeing custody became his specialty until he was locked up in San Quentin Prison, classified as one of their most dangerous convicts. It was there, in that very solitary place, that he began playing music. 

 From that point on, Haggard's life started looking up. To date, this classic country musician has 38 No. 1 hits, and an incredible list of awards and achievements including an honorary doctorate from California State University, Bakersfield. 

For the full story, watch this incredibly deep and personal interview with Dan Rather in the video below. 

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