RADIO SATELLITE. THE RETURN


Here we go.. Again just for you. Radio Satellite is back

 

Yes, back but there is some changes. Before Radio Satellite was playig Oldies songs

As Radio Satellite2 is now here for such genre and style. Radio Satellite2 with  “1 million  listeners” from all around the world…

So Radio Satellite is back in another form…As INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

If you like ( or love ) Guitars? Piano? Piano Bar? Sax? Violins?

Artists : Ennio Morricone? James Last? Fausto Papetti? Andre Rieu?  Paul Mauriat? etc..

Well, there will be no doubt that you’ll love Radio Satellite

Just click on the player ( above…right of this website) and you’ll get another website which contains both players

The automatic RADIO SATELLITE will start after around 15 seconds

For RADIO SATELLITE2, the player will have to be connect manually, if you want to listen to RS2

Enjoy the best music

Radio Satellite2 : Oldies hits from all the world to all the world

Radio Satellite : Instrument music from all around the world

 

Radio Satellite est de retour

Certes le format sera tout nouveau. Au lieu de reprendre le format d’origine (Oldies Hits)

Etant donné que Radio Satellite2 a déjà rempli la mission et a dépassé largement “le million d’auditeurs”…

Radio Satellite aura pour mission de jouer, rien que des musiques instrumentales… Pour notre plaisir

Pour écouter RS1 alias Radio Satellite:

Pour écouter RS2 alias Radio Satellite2 :

Il suffit de cliquer sur le player..en haut..à droite de ce site…Nous verrons un autre site s’ouvrir à nous

 

RS1 se lance automatiquement au bout de 15 secondes ( donc l’arrêt est possible en cliquant sur le lecteur / player évidemment)

RS2 se lance manuellement si vous le souhaitez : Idem en cliquant sur le lecteur / Player

Radio Satellite2 et Radio Satellite sont à votre disposition

 

http://radiosatellite2.com

 

 

RADIO SATELLITE

RADIO SATELLITE

RADIO SATELLITE2

Tears in heaven…First time played…Souvenirs…


We always prefer to let you show videos…let you see pictures…let you listen music and souvenirs than to talk uselessly.

We, ( in our studios) consider that the best way to express our feelings : It’s “music” “videos” and “pictures”. Words could be used but as we  ( you) are coming from different countries and readers / listeners  are from north america to Russia … From South America to Middle East…From Africa to Asian countries..Well, Music, photos  and videos are the best way to express what we like, what we could feel.

Here is an “old” video for an interview : “Eric Clapton”, presenting for the first time his golden hit ” tears in heaven”. We found it on the social networks and of course we are glad to share it with you.

We are waiting for you on “Radio Satellite2” follow us and listen to RadioSatellite2 at work or at home ( or while doing your exercices and sport, in installing our Free applications for your Apple device, Android Device or BlackBerry Device…) for free ( yes..already said ) 🙂

 

 

Just click and listen…work with music


Just click  below on one of them 🙂

RADIO SATELLITE2 at RadioForest.net

RADIO SATELLITE2 at RadioForest.net

RADIO SATELLITE2 at RadioForest.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://radiosatellite.co/2015/09/29/player-page-for-rs2/

Radio Satellite2 new pictures


 

 

rs2-fresh-music

http://radiosatellite.co    Radio Satellite2

 

country-rs2

#CountryMusic on  #RadioSatellite2

Country music on RS2


Rainer Niederleithner3

Promo and introduction to Country Music Program

Générique / Generic

Click on video to watch ( to listen)

Cliquer sur vidéo pour voir ( et écouter)

 

 

 

 

 

MOSTLY FOLK on RS2


Do you like Folk music?

Do you like great musical programs?

You will LOVE : “Mostly Folk”

 

 

 

Every :  SATURDAY  & MONDAY at 03h00 AM Paris Time ( Fridays & Sundays 08h00 PM US central time  09H00 pm Eastern)

Every: MONDAY & THURSDAY at 07h00 PM ( 12h00 PM US central time )

 

france usa

THE STATLER BROTHERS


The Statler Brothers (sometimes referred to in country music circles as simply The Statlers) were an American country music, gospel, and vocal group. The quartet was founded in 1955 and began their career backing Johnny Cash.

 

The statler Brothers are DAILY played on RADIO SATELLITE2 ( click on Logo RS2, to listen) 

between 10h00 PM and Midnight Paris Time

 

 

 

Originally performing gospel music at local churches, the group billed themselves as The Four Star Quartet, and later The Kingsmen.

In 1963, when the song “Louie, Louie” by the garage rock band also called The Kingsmen became famous, the group elected to bill themselves as The Statler Brothers. Despite the name, only two members of the group (Don and Harold Reid) are actual brothers and none have the surname of Statler.

 

The band, in fact, named themselves after a brand of facial tissue they had noticed in a hotel room (they joked that they could have turned out to be the Kleenex Brothers).

Don Reid sang lead; Harold Reid, Don’s older brother, sang bass; Phil Balsley sang baritone; and Lew DeWitt sang tenor and was the guitarist of the Statlers before being replaced by Jimmy Fortune in 1983 due to DeWitt’s ill health.

DeWitt died on August 15, 1990, of heart and kidney disease, stemming from complications of Crohn’s disease.

 

 

The band’s style was closely linked to their gospel roots. “We took gospel harmonies,” said Harold Reid, “and put them over in country music.”

The group remained closely tied to their gospel roots, with a majority of their records containing at least one gospel song. They produced several albums containing only gospel music and recorded a tribute song to the Blackwood Brothers, who influenced their music. The Statler Brothers also wrote a tribute song to Johnny Cash, who discovered them. The song was called “We Got Paid by Cash”, and it reminisces about their time with Cash.

Very early on in the group’s history, before the group named themselves “The Statler Brothers,” Joe McDorman was their original lead singer.

The Statler Brothers started their career at a performance at Lyndhurst Methodist Church near their hometown of Staunton.

In 1964, they started to become Johnny Cash’s backing vocal for an 8 1⁄2-year run as his opening act.

This period of their career was memorialized in their song “We Got Paid by Cash”. They were featured regularly on Cash’s hit show The Johnny Cash Show on ABC. The show ran from 1969-1971. Due to their expanding career the Statlers left Cash’s entourage around the mid 1970s to pursue their own careers. They left Cash on good terms.

 

 

Two of their best-known songs are “Flowers on the Wall”, their first major hit that was composed and written by Lew DeWitt, and the socially conscious “Bed of Rose’s”. In the 1980s, the Statlers were a mainstay on The Nashville Network (TNN), where their videos were shown regularly. Also on TNN, between 1991 and 1998, they hosted their own show, The Statler Brothers Show, a weekly variety show which was the channel’s top-rated program for its entire run.

Their songs have been featured on several film soundtracks. These range from “Charlotte’s Web” in Smokey and the Bandit II, to “Flowers on the Wall” in the crime dramedy Pulp Fiction.

Throughout their career, much of their appeal was related to their incorporation of comedy and parody into their musical act, thanks in large part to the humorous talent of group member Harold Reid; they were frequently nominated for awards for their comedy as well as their singing. They recorded two comedy albums as Lester “Roadhog” Moran and the Cadillac Cowboys, and one-half of one side of the album Country Music Then and Now was devoted to satirizing small-town radio stations’ Saturday morning shows.

They earned the number one spot on the Billboard chart four times: for “Do You Know You Are My Sunshine?” in 1978; “Elizabeth” in 1984; and in 1985, “My Only Love” and “Too Much on My Heart”.

 

Since forming, the Statler Brothers have released over 40 albums.

The Statler Brothers purchased and renovated their former elementary school in Staunton, and occupied the complex for several years.

The complex consisted of offices for the group, a small museum and auditorium, as well as an adjacent building which served as office space for unrelated businesses. A garage was built to store the two tour buses that the group had used for many years. The group has since sold the building which has been converted back into a school.[citation needed]

In 1970, the group began performing at an annual Independence Day festival in Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton. The event, known as “Happy Birthday USA”, lasted for 25 years and included many country music figures including Mel Tillis, Charley Pride and many others. The event drew as many as 100,000 fans each year. The group also honored their hometown with the song “Staunton, Virginia” on their 1973 album Do You Love Me Tonight.

 

 

Retirement

The group disbanded and retired after completing a farewell tour on October 26, 2002. Balsley and the Reid brothers continue to reside in Staunton, while Fortune relocated to Nashville, where he is continuing his music career as a solo artist. He has released three albums as a soloist. The Statlers continue to be one of the most awarded acts in the history of country music.

Since the Statlers’ retirement in 2002, Don Reid has pursued a second career as an author. He authored or co-authored three books: Heroes and Outlaws of the Bible, Sunday Morning Memories, and You’ll Know It’s Christmas When…. He and brother Harold co-wrote a history of the Statler Brothers titled Random Memories released in February 2008.

Grandstaff/Wilson Fairchild

Wil and Langdon Reid, the sons of Harold and Don respectively, formed a duo in the 1990s, originally performing under the name Grandstaff. In 2007, Grandstaff recorded “The Statler Brothers Song”, a tribute song to the Statler Brothers.

In an interview on Nashville’s WSM (AM) on March 25, 2010, Wil Reid said that they decided to change their name to Wilson Fairchild after many people got the name “Grandstaff” wrong during introductions. The name comes from “Wilson”, Wil’s middle name, and “Fairchild”, Langdon’s middle name.

 

FRENCH VERSION

Les Statler Brothers sont un groupe de musique country américain qui s’est formé en 1955 dans la ville de Staunton en Virginie.

Originellement chanteurs de gospel dans les églises de leur état, les membres du groupe se sont ensuite attribué le surnom de « Four Stars » (Quatre étoiles) puis de Kingsmen.

Mais étant donné que le groupe The Kingsmen portait déjà ce nom, le groupe prit finalement le nom de Statler Brothers.

Le groupe avoua par la suite avoir pris ce nom en référence à une marque de mouchoirs. En plaisantant, ils expliquèrent même qu’ils auraient tout aussi bien pu s’appeler les Kleenex Brothers.

 

Le groupe se compose bel et bien de deux frères, Don Reid (soliste) et Harold Reid (basse).

Les deux autres membres sont le baryton Phil Balsley et le tenor Jimmy Fortune, qui a remplacé Lew DeWitt, l’un des fondateurs du groupe, lorsqu’il prit sa retraite, en 1982, afin de soigner la Maladie de Crohn, dont il souffrait depuis son adolescence, et dont les complications provoquèrent son décès en 1990.

Le style musical du groupe est resté tout au long de sa carrière très proche de ses racines de gospel. Ainsi, Harold Reid expliqua que le groupe utilisa « les mélodies du gospel pour les transposer dans la musique country ».

 

Ainsi, la plupart des albums proposent des titres issus du gospel. Certains albums reposaient même intégralement sur du gospel.

Les chansons des Statler Brothers sont apparues dans de nombreuses bandes originales de films ou de jeux vidéo. Ainsi, la chanson Flowers on the wall apparaît dans Pulp Fiction de Quentin Tarantino, et les chansons Bed of Roses et New York City apparaissent dans le jeu vidéo Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, sur la station K-Rose.

La carrière du groupe a duré 47 ans, depuis 1955 jusqu’en 2002, où Don Reid, Harold Reid et Phil Balsley ont annoncé leur retraite au cours d’une tournée d’adieu. Jimmy Fortune (en) continue depuis sa carrière en solo.

La carrière du groupe a débuté dans la Lynhurst Methodist Church située dans leur ville d’origine, Staunton.

En 1963 débuta une série de huit années de premières parties dans les concerts de Johnny Cash. Cette première partie de carrière fut immortalisée dans leur chanson We were paid by cash (littéralement Nous étions payés cash).

Deux de leurs chansons les plus célèbres sont Flowers on the wall, leur premier gros titre, et Bed of Roses qui firent tous deux l’objet d’un album portant le même nom.

Dans les années 1980, les Statlers comptèrent parmi les groupes les plus importants de la chaîne câblée The Nashville Network où leurs vidéos étaient régulièrement diffusées. Entre 1991 et 1998, ils animèrent même leur propre émission, le The Statler Brothers Show, diffusé quotidiennement sur le TTN.

 

Le programme devint dès lors l’émission la plus regardée de l’émission durant toute la durée de sa diffusion.

Tout au long de leur carrière, leur succès reposa tant sur leurs talents musicaux que sur leur talent pour la comédie et la parodie qu’ils mettaient en œuvres lorsqu’ils chantaient.

Ils étaient ainsi souvent nominés pour des récompenses de comédiens, autant que de chanteurs. Deux de leurs albums, Lester Moran et Cadillac Cowboys se voulaient fondamentalement comiques, et la moitié de l’album Country Music Then and Now était consacré à une satire des émissions dominicales sur les petites radios locales.

Le groupe a atteint à quatre reprises la tête du Classement du Billboard avec leurs chansons Do You Know You Are My Sunshine? en 1978, Elizabeth en 1982, My Only Love en 1984, et Too Much on My Heart en 1985. Au cours de leur carrière, les Statler Brothers ont sorti plus de 40 albums.

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La carrière des Statler Brothers a été auréolée de trois Grammy Award : ceux de Best New Country and Western Artist, de Best New Country Music Artist et de Best Contemporary (R&R) Performance en 1965.

Le 29 octobre 2007, cinq années après sa dernière tournée, le groupe a été officiellement intronisé au Gospel Music Hall of Fame de Nashville dans le Tennessee. Le 12 février 2008, l’entrée du groupe dans le Country Music Hall of Fame a été officiellement annoncée.

 

SOURCES WIKIPEDIA

MERLE HAGGARD , THE STAR


Merle Ronald Haggard (born April 6, 1937) is an American country and Western songwriter, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist.

MERLE HAGGARD

Merle Haggard

Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville sound recordings of the same era.

 

By the 1970s, Haggard was aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and has continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s. In 1994, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  In 1997, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

 

Haggard’s parents, Flossie Mae Harp and James Francis Haggard,  moved to California from their home in Checotah, Oklahoma, during the Great Depression, after their barn burned in 1934.

 

They settled with their children, Lowell and Lillian, in an apartment in Bakersfield, while James Francis Haggard started working for the Santa Fe Railroad. A woman who owned a boxcar, which was placed in Oildale, a nearby town north of Bakersfield, asked Haggard’s father about the possibility of converting it into a house. He remodeled the boxcar, and soon after moved in, also purchasing the lot, where Merle Ronald Haggard was born on April 6, 1937.

 

The property was eventually expanded by building a bathroom, a second bedroom, a kitchen and a breakfast nook in the adjacent lot.

His father died of a brain hemorrhage in 1945, an event that deeply affected Haggard during his childhood, and the rest of his life.

 

To support the family, his mother worked as a bookkeeper. His brother, Lowell, gave Haggard his used guitar as a gift when he was 12 years old. Haggard learned to play alone, with the records he had at home, influenced by Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams.

 

As his mother was absent due to work, Haggard became progressively rebellious. His mother sent him for a weekend to a juvenile detention center to change his attitude, which worsened.

Haggard committed a number of minor offences, such as thefts and writing bad checks. He was sent to a juvenile detention center for shoplifting in 1950.

Merle Haggard2

When he was 14, Haggard ran away to Texas with his friend Bob Teague.  He rode freight trains and hitchhiked throughout the state.  When he returned the same year, he and his friend were arrested for robbery. Haggard and Teague were released when the real robbers were found. Haggard was later sent to the juvenile detention center, from which he and his friend escaped again to Modesto, California.

 

He worked a series of laborer jobs, including driving a potato truck, being a short order cook, a hay pitcher, and an oil well shooter. His debut performance was with Teague in a Modesto bar named “Fun Center,” being paid US$5, with free beer.

 

He returned to Bakersfield in 1951, and was again arrested for truancy and petty larceny and sent to a juvenile detention center. After another escape, he was sent to the Preston School of Industry, a high-security installation. He was released 15 months later, but was sent back after beating a local boy during a burglary attempt.

 

After his release, Haggard and Teague saw Lefty Frizzell in concert. After hearing Haggard sing along to his songs backstage, Frizzell refused to sing unless Haggard would be allowed to sing first.

 

He sang songs that were well received by the audience. Due to the positive reception, Haggard decided to pursue a career in music. While working as a farmhand or in oil fields, he played in nightclubs. He eventually landed a spot on the local television show Chuck Wagon, in 1956.

 

Married and plagued by financial issues, he was arrested in 1957 shortly after he tried to rob a Bakersfield roadhouse. He was sent to Bakersfield Jail, and was later transferred after an escape attempt to San Quentin Prison, on February 21, 1958. While in prison, Haggard discovered that his wife was expecting a child from another man, which pressed him psychologically.

 

 

He was fired from a series of prison jobs, and planned to escape along with another inmate nicknamed “Rabbit”. Haggard was convinced not to escape by fellow inmates.

Haggard started to run a gambling and brewing racket with his cellmate. After he was caught drunk, he was sent for a week to solitary confinement where he encountered Caryl Chessman, an author and death row inmate.

Meanwhile, “Rabbit” had successfully escaped, only to shoot a police officer and return to San Quentin for execution. Chessman’s predicament, along with the execution of “Rabbit,” inspired Haggard to turn his life around. Haggard soon earned a high school equivalency diploma and kept a steady job in the prison’s textile plant, while also playing for the prison’s country music band, attributing a 1958 performance by Johnny Cash at the prison as his main inspiration to join it.

 

Merle haggard cover album

 

Upon his release in 1960, Haggard said it took about four months to get used to being out of the penitentiary and that, at times, he actually wanted to go back in. He said it was the loneliest he had ever felt.

According to Rolling Stone, “In 1972, then–California governor Ronald Reagan expunged Haggard’s criminal record, granting him a full pardon.”

 

Upon his release, Haggard started digging ditches and wiring houses for his brother. Soon he was performing again, and later began recording with Tally Records.

 

The Bakersfield Sound was developing in the area as a reaction against the over-produced honky tonk of the Nashville Sound. Haggard’s first song was “Skid Row”.

 

In 1962, Haggard wound up performing at a Wynn Stewart show in Las Vegas and heard Wynn’s “Sing a Sad Song”. He asked for permission to record it, and the resulting single was a national hit in 1964.

 

The following year he had his first national top ten record with “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers”, written by Liz Anderson (mother of country singer Lynn Anderson) and his career was off and running.

 

In his 1981 autobiography Merle Haggard: Sing Me Back Home, Haggard recalls having been talked into visiting Anderson—a woman he didn’t know—at her house to hear her sing some songs she had written. “If there was anything I didn’t wanna do, it was sit around some danged woman’s house and listen to her cute little songs. But I went anyway. She was a pleasant enough lady, pretty, with a nice smile, but I was all set to be bored to death, even more so when she got out a whole bunch of songs and went over to an old pump organ…There they were.

 

 

 

My God, one hit right after another. There must have been four or five number one songs there…” In 1966, Haggard recorded his first number-one song “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive”, also written by Liz Anderson, which Haggard acknowledges in his autobiography remains his most popular number with audiences.”

 

Haggard felt a connection to the song immediately and when it was released it became his first number one country hit. When Anderson played the song for Haggard, she was unaware about his prison stretch.

 

“I guess I didn’t realize how much the experience at San Quentin did to him, ’cause he never talked about it all that much,” Bonnie Owens, Haggard’s backup singer and then-wife, is quoted by music journalist Daniel Cooper in the liner notes to the 1994 retrospective Down Every Road. “I could tell he was in a dark mood…and I said, ‘Is everything okay?’ And he said, ‘I’m really scared.’ And I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Cause I’m afraid someday I’m gonna be out there…and there’s gonna be some convict…some prisoner that was in there the same time I was in, stand up – and they’re gonna be about the third row down – and say, ‘What do you think you’re doing, 45200?'”

Cooper notes that the news had little effect on Haggard’s career:

“It’s unclear when or where Merle first acknowledged to the public that his prison songs were rooted in personal history, for to his credit, he doesn’t seem to have made some big splash announcement.  In a May 1967 profile in Music City News, his prison record is never mentioned. But in July 1968, in the very same publication, it’s spoken of as if it were common knowledge.”

The 1966 album Branded Man kicked off an incredible artistic run for Haggard; in 2013 Haggard biographer David Cantwell states, “The immediate successors to I’m a Lonesome Fugitive – Branded Man in 1967 and, in ’68, Sing Me Back Home and The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde – were among the finest albums of their respective years.” Haggard’s new recordings largely centered around Roy Nichols’s Telecaster, Ralph Mooney’s steel guitar, and the harmony vocals provided by Bonnie Owens.

Merle_Haggard_1975

M HAGGARD

At the time of Haggard’s first top-ten hit “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” in 1965, Owens was actually the better known performer, a fixture on the Bakersfieldclub scene who had recorded and appeared on television. Bonnie, who had been married to Buck Owens, won the new Academy of Country Music’s first ever award for Female Vocalist after her 1965 debut album, Don’t Take Advantage of Me, hit the top five on the country albums chart. However, there were no more hit singles, and although Owens recorded six solo albums on Capitol between 1965 and 1970, she became mainly known for her background harmonies on Haggard hits like “Sing Me Back Home” and “Branded Man.”

 

Producer Ken Nelson took a hands-off approach to producing Haggard. In the episode of American Masters dedicated to him, Haggard remembers: “The producer I had at that time, Ken Nelson, was an exception to the rule. He called me ‘Mr. Haggard’ and I was a little twenty-four, twenty-five year old punk from Oildale…

 

He gave me complete responsibility. I think if he’d jumped in and said, ‘Oh, you can’t do that,’ it would’ve destroyed me.”  In the documentary series Lost Highway, Nelson recalls, “When I first started recording Merle, I became so enamored with his singing that I would forget what else was going on, and I suddenly realized, ‘Wait a minute, there’s musicians here you’ve got to worry about!’ But his songs – he was a great writer.”

 

Towards the end of the decade, Haggard went on a songwriting tear, composing several #1 hits as “Mama Tried,” “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde,” “Hungry Eyes,” and “Sing Me Back Home.” Daniel Cooper calls “Sing Me Back Home,” “a ballad that works on so many different levels of the soul it defies one’s every attempt to analyze it.”

 

In a 1977 interview inBillboard with Bob Eubanks, Haggard reflected, “Even though the crime was brutal and the guy was an incorrigible criminal, it’s a feeling you never forget when you see someone you know make that last walk. They bring him through the yard, and there’s a guard in front and a guard behind – that’s how you know a death prisoner.

 

They brought Rabbit out…taking him to see the Father,…prior to his execution. That was a strong picture that was left in my mind.” In 1968, Haggard’s first tribute LP Same Train, Different Time: A Tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, was released to acclaim.

 

 

Okie From Muskogee”, 1969’s apparent political statement, was, according to some Merle Haggard interviews decades later, actually written as a humorous character portrait. In one such interview, Haggard called the song a “documentation of the uneducated that lived in America at the time

 

 

However, he said later on the Bob Edwards Show that “I wrote it when I recently got out of the joint. I knew what it was like to lose my freedom, and I was getting really mad at these protesters.

 

They didn’t know anything more about the war in Vietnam than I did. I thought how my dad, who was from Oklahoma, would have felt. I felt I knew how those boys fighting in Vietnam felt.” In the country music documentary series Lost Highway, he elaborates: “My dad passed away when I was nine, and I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about somebody you’ve lost and you say, ‘I wonder what so-and-so would think about this?’ I was drivin’ on Interstate 40 and I saw a sign that said “19 Miles to Muskogee.”

 

Muskogee was always referred to in my childhood as ‘back home.’ So I saw that sign and my whole childhood flashed before my eyes and I thought, ‘I wonder what dad would think about the youthful uprising that was occurring at the time,  On December 19, 2006, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved a citizen-led resolution to rename a portion of 7th Standard Road in Oildale as Merle Haggard Drive, which will stretch from North Chester Avenue west to U.S. Route 99.

 

The first street travelers will turn onto when they leave the new airport terminal will be Merle Haggard Drive.

In 2006, Haggard was honored as a BMI Icon at the 54th annual BMI Pop Awards. During his songwriting career, Haggard has earned 48 BMI Country Awards, nine BMI Pop Awards, a BMI R&B Award, and 16 BMI “Million-Air” awards, all from a catalog of songs that adds up to over 25 million performances.

Merle Haggard accepted the prestigious award for lifetime achievement and “outstanding contribution to American culture” from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 4, 2010. At a December 5, 2010 gala in Washington, D.C. he was honored with musical performances by Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley. This tribute was featured on the December 28, 2010 CBS telecast of the Kennedy Center Honors.

 

On June 14, 2013, the California State University, Bakersfield, honored Merle Haggard for his contributions to the arts with the honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts. Haggard stepped to the podium and said, “Thank you. It’s nice to be noticed.” On January 26, 2014, Haggard performed his 1969 song “Okie from Muskogee” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards along with Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton

Gary Keck, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah and an ardent fan of Haggard, introduced a series of chemical analogues of a biologically active natural product called bryostatin 1 and named them “Merle compunds” to honor his idol’s legacy….I understood them, I got along with it, but what if he was to come alive at this moment?

And I thought, what a way to describe the kind of people in America that are still sittin’ in the center of the country sayin’, ‘What is goin’ on on these campuses?’

 

” In the American Masters episode about his life and career, however, a more defiant Haggard states that the song was more than a satire: ”

 

That’s how I got into it with the hippies…I thought they were unqualified to judge America, and I thought they were lookin’ down their noses at something that I cherished very much, and it pissed me off. And I thought, ‘You sons of bitches, you’ve never been restricted away from this great, wonderful country, and yet here you are in the streets bitchin’ about things, protesting about a war that they didn’t know any more about than I did.

 

Merle_Haggard_in_1971

They weren’t over there fightin’ that war anymore than I was.” Haggard began performing the song in concert in the fall of 1969 and was astounded at the reaction it received. As David Cantwell notes in his 2013 book Merle Haggard: The Running Kind, “The Haggard camp knew they were on to something.

 

Everywhere they went, every show, ‘Okie’ did more than prompt enthusiastic applause. There was an unanticipated adulation racing through the crowds now, standing ovations that went on and on and sometimes left the audience and the band-members alike teary-eyed.

 

Merle had somehow stumbled upon a song that expressed previously inchoate fears, spoke out loud gripes and anxieties otherwise only whispered, and now people were using his song, were using him, to connect themselves to these larger concerns and to one another.”

 

The studio version, which is far mellower than the usually raucous concert versions, topped the charts in the fall of 1969, where it remained for a month, and also hit number 41 on the pop charts, becoming Haggard’s all-time biggest hit (until his 1973 crossover Christmas smash “If We Make It Through December”) and signature tune.

Haggard was beginning to attract attention from artists outside the country field, such as crooner Dean Martin, who recorded “I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am” for his album of the same name in 1969.

 

In addition, the Gram Parsons incarnation of the Byrds had performed “Sing Me Back Home” on the Grand Ole Opry and had recorded Haggard’s “Life in Prison” for their album Sweetheart of the Rodeo the same year.

 

In 1969 the Grateful Dead began performing Haggard’s tune “Mama Tried”, which appeared on their 1971 eponymous live album. The song became a staple in their repertoire until the band’s end in 1995.

 

Singer-activist Joan Baez, whose political leanings could not be more different from those expressed in Haggard’s above-referenced songs, nonetheless covered “Sing Me Back Home” and “Mama Tried” in 1969. The Everly Brothers also used both songs in their 1968 country-rock album Roots.

 

 

In the original Rolling Stone review for Haggard’s 1968 album Mama Tried, Andy Wickham wrote, “His songs romanticize the hardships and tragedies of America’s transient proletarian and his success is resultant of his inherent ability to relate to his audience a commonplace experience with precisely the right emotional pitch…Merle Haggard looks the part and sounds the part because he is the part. He’s great.”

 

However, his next single, 1970’s “The Fightin’ Side of Me”, was so unapologetically right wing that it left no doubt as to where Haggard stood politically.

 

It became his fourth consecutive #1 country hit and also made an appearance on the pop chart, but any ideas that Haggard was a closeted liberal sympathizer were irretrievably squashed.

 

 

In the song, Haggard allows that he doesn’t mind the counterculture “switchin’ sides and standin’ up for what they believe in” but resolutely declares, “If you don’t love it, leave it!” In May 1970, Haggard explained to John Grissom of Rolling Stone, “I don’t like their views on life, their filth, their visible self-disrespect, y’ know. They don’t give a shit what they look like or what they smell like…What do they have to offer humanity?”

 

Ironically, Haggard had wanted to follow “Okie from Muskogee” with “Irma Jackson,” a song that dealt head-on with an interracial romance between a white man and an African-American woman.

 

His producer Ken Nelson discouraged him from releasing it as a single.

 

As Jonathan Bernstein recounts in his online Rolling Stone article “Merle Haggard Reluctantly Unveils ‘The Fightin’ Side of Me'”, “Hoping to distance himself from the harshly right-wing image he had accrued in the wake of the hippie-bashing “Muskogee,” Haggard wanted to take a different direction and release “Irma Jackson” as his next single…

 

 

When the Bakersfield, California native brought the song to his record label, executives were reportedly appalled.

 

In the wake of ‘Okie,’ Capitol Records was not interested in complicating Haggard’s conservative, blue-collar image.”After “The Fightin’ Side of Me” was released instead, Haggard later commented to the Wall Street Journal, “People are narrow-minded.

 

Down South they might have called me a nigger lover.. In an interview in 2001, Haggard stated that Nelson, who was also head of the country division at Capitol at the time, never interfered with his music but “this one time he came out and said, ‘Merle…I don’t believe the world is ready for this yet’…And he might have been right. I might’ve canceled out where I was headed in my career..

 

 

“Okie From Muskogee”, “The Fightin’ Side of Me”, and “I Wonder If They Think of Me” were hailed as anthems of the Silent Majority and presaged a trend in patriotic songs that would reappear years later with Charlie Daniels’ “In America”, Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”, and others. Haggard’s next LP was A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World, dedicated to Bob Wills, which helped spark a permanent revival and expanded audience for western swing.

 

By this point, Haggard was one of the most famous country singers in the world, having enjoyed an immensely successful artistic and commercial run with Capitol accumulating twenty-four #1 country singles since 1966.

 

On Tuesday, March 14, 1972, shortly after “Carolyn” became another number one country hit, then-California governor Ronald Reagan granted Haggard a full pardon for his past crimes. In the fall of 1972, “Let Me Tell You about A Song,” the first TV special starring Merle Haggard, was nationally syndicated by Capital Cities TV Productions.

 

It was a semi-autobiographical, musical profile of Haggard, akin to the contemporary “Behind The Music,” produced and directed by Michael Davis. The 1973 recession anthem “If We Make It Through December” furthered Haggard’s status as a champion of the working class.

 

“If We Make It Through December” turned out to be Haggard’s last pop hit. Haggard appeared on the cover of TIME on May 6, 1974. He also wrote and performed the theme song to the television series Movin’ On, which in 1975 gave him another number one country hit. During the early to mid-1970s, Haggard’s chart domination continued with songs like “Someday We’ll Look Back”, “Grandma Harp”, “Always Wanting You”, and “The Roots of My Raising”.

 

Between 1973 and 1976, Haggard scored 9 consecutive #1 country hits. In 1977, he switched to MCA Records and began exploring the themes of depression, alcoholism, and middle age on albums like Serving 190 Proof and The Way I Am. Haggard sang a duet cover of Billy Burnette’s What’s A Little Love Between Friends with Lynda Carter in her 1980 television music special Lynda Carter: Encore!

 

 

He also scored a #1 hit in 1980 with “Bar Room Buddies,” a duet with movie star Clint Eastwood that appeared on the Bronco Billy soundtrack.

In 1981, Haggard published an autobiography, Sing Me Back Home. That same year, he alternately spoke and sang the ballad “The Man in the Mask”. Written by Dean Pitchford (whose other output includes “Fame”, “Footloose”, “Sing”, “Solid Gold”, and the musical Carrie), this was the combined narration/theme from the movie The Legend of the Lone Ranger, a box-office flop.

 

Haggard also jumped record labels again in 1981, moving to Epic and releasing one of his most critically acclaimed albums, Big City. Between 1981 and 1985, Haggard scored twelve Top 10 country hits, with nine of them reaching #1, including “My Favorite Memory,” “Going Where the Lonely Go,” “Someday When Things Are Good,” and “Natural High.”

 

In addition, Haggard recorded two chart topping duets with George Jones (“Yesterdays’ Wine” in 1982) and Willie Nelson (“Pancho and Lefty” in 1983).

 

Nelson believed the 1983 Academy Award-winning film Tender Mercies, about the life of fictional singer Mac Sledge, was based on the life of Merle Haggard. Actor Robert Duvall and other filmmakers denied this and claimed the character was based on nobody in particular. Duvall, however, said he was a big fan of Haggard. He won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his 1984 remake of “That’s The Way Love Goes.” Haggard and third wife Leona Williams divorced in 1983 after five stormy years of marriage and the split, which took Haggard by surprise, served as a license to party for Haggard, who spent much of the next decade becoming mired in alcohol and drug problems. Haggard has often stated that he was in the stages of his own mid-life crisis, or “male menopause,” around this time. In the documentary Learning to Live With Myself, the singer is quoted in an interview from around the time: “Things that you’ve enjoyed for years don’t seem nearly as important, and you’re at war with yourself as to what’s happening. ‘Why don’t I like that anymore? Why do I like this now?’ And finally, I think you actually go through a biological change, you just, you become another…

Your body is getting ready to die and your mind doesn’t agree.” By the mid-eighties he was addicted to cocaine but managed to kick the habit. However, he was hampered by financial woes well into the 1990s as his presence on the charts continued to diminish as newer singers had begun to take over country music, and singers like George Strait and Randy Travis had taken over the charts. Haggard’s last number one hit was “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” from his smash album Chill Factor in 1988.

 

In 1989, Haggard recorded a song, “Me and Crippled Soldiers Give a Damn”, in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow flag burning under the First Amendment. After CBS Records Nashville avoided releasing the song, Haggard bought his way out of the contract and signed with Curb Records, which was willing to release the song.

 

Of the situation, Haggard commented, “I’ve never been a guy that can do what people told me…It’s always been my nature to fight the system.”

 

 

In 2000, Haggard made a comeback of sorts, signing with the independent record label Anti and releasing the spare If I Could Only Flyto critical acclaim.

 

He followed it in 2001 with Roots, vol. 1, a collection of Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, and Hank Thompson covers, along with three Haggard originals.

 

The album, recorded in Haggard’s living room with no overdubs, featured Haggard’s longtime bandmates The Strangers as well as Frizzell’s original lead guitarist, Norman Stephens.

 

In December 2004, Haggard spoke at length on Larry King Live about his incarceration as a young man and said it was “hell” and “the scariest experience of my life”.

Haggard’s number one hit single “Mama Tried” is featured in the 2003 film Radio with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris as well as in Bryan Bertino’s “The Strangers” with Liv Tyler. In addition, his song “Swingin’ Doors” can be heard in the 2004 film Crash and his 1981 hit “Big City” is heard in Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film “Fargo” and in the 2008 Larry Bishop film “Hell Ride”.

 

In October 2005, Haggard released his album Chicago Wind to mostly positive reviews. The album contained an anti-Iraq war song titled “America First,” in which he laments the nation’s economy and faltering infrastructure, applauds its soldiers, and sings, “Let’s get out of Iraq, and get back on track.”

Merle_Haggard_in_concert_2013

 

This follows from his 2003 release “Haggard Like Never Before” in which he includes a song, “That’s The News”. Haggard released a bluegrass album, The Bluegrass Sessions, on October 2, 2007.

 

In 2008, Haggard was going to perform at Riverfest in Little Rock, Arkansas, but the concert was canceled because he was ailing, and three other concerts were canceled as well; however, he was back on the road in June and successfully completed a tour that ended on October 19.

 

In April 2010, Haggard released a new album, I Am What I Am. Released to strong reviews, Haggard performed the title song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in February 2011. His 2014 and 2015 tour schedule has been aggressive, including over 30 cities in 2015 alone, suggesting the kind of performing stamina usually characterized by artists half Haggard’s age.

 

 

In 2000, Haggard made a comeback of sorts, signing with the independent record label Anti and releasing the spare If I Could Only Flyto critical acclaim.

 

He followed it in 2001 with Roots, vol. 1, a collection of Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, and Hank Thompson covers, along with three Haggard originals.

 

The album, recorded in Haggard’s living room with no overdubs, featured Haggard’s longtime bandmates The Strangers as well as Frizzell’s original lead guitarist, Norman Stephens.

In December 2004, Haggard spoke at length onLarry King Live about his incarceration as a young man and said it was “hell” and “the scariest experience of my life”.

Haggard’s number one hit single “Mama Tried” is featured in the 2003 film Radio with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris as well as in Bryan Bertino’s “The Strangers” with Liv Tyler.

 

In addition, his song “Swingin’ Doors” can be heard in the 2004 film Crash and his 1981 hit “Big City” is heard in Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film “Fargo” and in the 2008 Larry Bishop film “Hell Ride”.

 

In October 2005, Haggard released his album Chicago Wind to mostly positive reviews. The album contained an anti-Iraq war song titled “America First,” in which he laments the nation’s economy and faltering infrastructure, applauds its soldiers, and sings, “Let’s get out of Iraq, and get back on track.” This follows from his 2003 release “Haggard Like Never Before” in which he includes a song, “That’s The News”.

 

Haggard released a bluegrass album, The Bluegrass Sessions, on October 2, 2007. In 2008, Haggard was going to perform at Riverfest in Little Rock, Arkansas, but the concert was canceled because he was ailing, and three other concerts were canceled as well; however, he was back on the road in June and successfully completed a tour that ended on October 19.

 

In April 2010, Haggard released a new album, I Am What I Am. Released to strong reviews, Haggard performed the title song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in February 2011.

 

His 2014 and 2015 tour schedule has been aggressive, including over 30 cities in 2015 alone, suggesting the kind of performing stamina usually characterized by artists half Haggard’s age.

 

Haggard has been married five times, first to Leona Hobbs from 1956 to 1964. They had four children: Dana, Marty, Kelli, Noel. They divorced, and in 1965 he married singer Bonnie Owens, former wife of Buck Owens, and a successful country singer at the time. Haggard has credited her with helping him make his big break as a country artist. Haggard shared the writing credit with Owens for his hit “Today I Started Loving You Again”, and has acknowledged, including on stage, that the song was about a sudden burst of special feelings he experienced for her while they were touring together.

 

She also helped care for Haggard’s children from his first wife and was the maid of honor for Haggard’s third marriage. Haggard and Owens divorced in 1978. In 1978 Haggard married Leona Williams; they divorced in 1983.

 

In 1985 Haggard married Debbie Parret, but they divorced in 1991. He married his current wife, Theresa Ann Lane, on September 11, 1993. They have two children, Jenessa and Ben.

 

On December 19, 2006, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved a citizen-led resolution to rename a portion of 7th Standard Road in Oildale as Merle Haggard Drive, which will stretch from North Chester Avenue west to U.S. Route 99. The first street travelers will turn onto when they leave the new airport terminal will be Merle Haggard Drive.

In 2006, Haggard was honored as a BMI Icon at the 54th annual BMI Pop Awards. During his songwriting career, Haggard has earned 48 BMI Country Awards, nine BMI Pop Awards, a BMI R&B Award, and 16 BMI “Million-Air” awards, all from a catalog of songs that adds up to over 25 million performances.

Merle Haggard accepted the prestigious award for lifetime achievement and “outstanding contribution to American culture” from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 4, 2010. At a December 5, 2010 gala in Washington, D.C.

 

he was honored with musical performances by Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley.

 

Merle_Haggard_2010

 

This tribute was featured on the December 28, 2010 CBS telecast of the Kennedy Center Honors. On June 14, 2013, the California State University, Bakersfield, honored Merle Haggard for his contributions to the arts with the honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts.

 

Haggard stepped to the podium and said, “Thank you. It’s nice to be noticed.” On January 26, 2014, Haggard performed his 1969 song “Okie from Muskogee” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards along with Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton

 

Gary Keck, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah and an ardent fan of Haggard, introduced a series of chemical analogues of a biologically active natural product called bryostatin 1 and named them “Merle compunds” to honor his idol’s legacy.

 

SOURCES : WIKIPEDIA

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