Country Music Icon Merle Haggard Has Died at 79, Rest in Peace

Country music icon Merle Haggard has died …

It is with incredible sadness to announce that country music icon Merle Haggard has passed away at the age of 79. Wow, this one hits close to home. I grew up on listening to the likes of Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, Sr. as my parents played the 8-track tapes over and over. Yes Millennials, 8-track tapes, Google it. There were just so many songs to like from country great Merle Haggard, The Tennessean has provided 15 songs that defined a legendary career. Rest in Peace Merle.

Okie From Muskogee

Merle Haggard, one of the most successful singers in the history of country music, a contrarian populist whose songs about his scuffling early life and his time in prison made him the closest thing that the genre had to a real-life outlaw hero, died at his ranch in Northern California on Wednesday, his 79th birthday.

His death was confirmed by his agent, Lance Roberts. Mr. Haggard had recently canceled several concerts, saying he had double pneumonia.

Few country artists have been as popular and widely admired as Mr. Haggard, a ruggedly handsome performer who strode onto a stage, guitar in hand, as a poet of the common man. Thirty-eight of his singles, including “Workin’ Man Blues” and the 1973 recession-era lament “If We Make It Through December,” reached No. 1 on the Billboard country chart from 1966 to 1987. He released 71 Top 10 country hits in all, 34 in a row from 1967 to 1977. Seven of his singles crossed over to the pop charts.

Mama Tried

More from The NY Times:

Merle Ronald Haggard was born on April 6, 1937, in Oildale, Calif. His first years were spent in the abandoned boxcar that his father, James, a railroad carpenter, had converted into a home for his family. James Haggard died of a stroke in 1946, after which Mr. Haggard’s mother, the former Flossie Mae Harp, a strict and pious member of the ultraconservative Church of Christ, took a bookkeeping job to provide for her three children.

Sing Me Back Home

From Billboard Magazine – Merle Haggard on Death: ‘Sometimes I Fear It and Other Times It Calls to Me Like a Forgotten Dream’ (Exclusive):

Merle wanted to be seen the way he was.

“Wrote a tune not long called ‘I Am What I Am,’” he said, “that sums me up pretty damn good. Song says, “I believe Jesus is God and a pig is just ham…I’m a seeker, I’m a sinner, and I am what I am.”

Seated in an easy chair in the living room of his modest home, he discussed a recent operation that removed a cancer from his lung, the cancer that ultimately returned and took his life on April 6 at age 79.

“All this near-death stuff has me thinking that it’s time to reconcile all the many Merles. There’s Merle the daddy’s boy, the son of a railroad man. Then there’s the juvenile delinquent Merle who tore up more than one reform school, the Merle who spent a decade of hard time in prison, the Merle who had the guts to stand up in those Bakersfield barrooms imitating his idol Lefty Frizzell, the Merle who finally found his own voice and muddled his way through show business. And most devilishly complicated of all, the Merle of four marriages.”

Darkness fell. Merle grew quiet. He slipped in a DVD of his favorite preacher, Dr. Gene Scott, who spoke of eternal life. When the sermon ended, I asked Merle whether he feared death.

“Sometimes I fear it,” he said, “and other times it calls to me like a forgotten dream or an old song. I’m not saying I welcome it, but I recognize it as part of a holy process. Born of nature, return to nature. Maybe that’s the name of my last song.

Have you Heard “An American with A Remington” by Larry Gatlin and Billy Dean? (VIDEO)

 ”AN AMERICAN WITH A REMINGTON” … 

By any chance have you heard the song, “An American with a Remington”? If not, take a listen below and let us know what you think. Its a song by country greats Larry Gatling of the Gatling Brothers fame and Billy Dean. The song was written in response to radical Islamic terror attacks and innocents having their heads cut off at the hands of ISIS. As Larry Gatlin said, “I really pissed us off”.  From Billboard comes the Gatlin Brothers defending their so-called controversial song about guns. Please, its not controversial, people in this country have become too gutless and sensitive and are offended about everything.

Gatlin — who is a frequent guest commentator on the Fox News network — also pushes a few buttons with the candid “An American With a Remington,” which the singer co-wrote with Billy Dean. “We’d been watching TV one night and saw the bad guys burning people alive in cages and cutting their heads off because they wouldn’t convert to Islam. We didn’t like that. A week later, he said he had an idea for a song. We wrote it and put it on Facebook and got 16 million hits. Then, we decided to let some friends of ours do it because they were a bigger act than us, but their record company wouldn’t let them put it out. I was mad about it for about five seconds until I realized that we were supposed to record it.

I think this pretty much says it all for how most Americans feel when it comes to deal with terrorism and those that what to affect out way of life. Most Americans are live and let live. But if you screw with us, you will feel our wrath. One of the lines from the song goes, “Hey, I wanna live in peace, but you come after my family, You’ll be staring down the barrel of my gun An American with a Remington.”

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

An American With A Remington

By Billy Dean and Larry Gatlin

Dear worthless, gutless cowards
You say I must convert or die
Well I guess you gonna have to kill me
Least you’re gonna have to try

Does Lexington and Concorde
Mean anything to you?
How about Bunker Hill, San Juan Hill
Or the Island Peleliu?

You’re not the first who’s ever tried to kill me
What makes you think I would turn and run?
You underestimate these United States
And the righteous might of people standing as one

We exist to fan the flame of freedom
We’ve fought and bled and died, we overcome
Hey, I wanna live in peace, but you come after my family
You’ll be staring down the barrel of my gun

An American with a Remington

Now that rifle helped put food on our table
When my Daddy came home from Viet Nam disabled
And like him I answered the call
And I was ready to give my all
In the mountains of Afghanistan

You’re not the first who’d ever want to kill me
What makes you think I would turn and run (I won’t turn and run)
You underestimate these United States
And the righteous might of people standing as one

We exist to fan the flame of freedom
We’ve fought and bled and died, we’ve overcome
I wanna live in peace, but you come after my family
You’ll be staring down the barrel of my gun

An American with a Remington
An American with a Remington
Yours truly
An American with a Remington

You’re not the first who’s ever tried to kill me…

An American with a Remington – The Gatlin Brothers

Of course and then there is Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democrats who want to take away your Second Amendment rights and take away your Remington’s.

Country Power Couple Break Up … Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert Divorcing

As Tammy Wynette sang … DIVORCE.

TMZ is reporting that power Country couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are getting a divorce. How unfortunate. After just 4 short years of marriage, their marriage is over. According to reports, Lambert will get the family home in Nashville, Tennessee while Shelton will keep their ranch in Oklahoma.  In a statement released to the AP stated, ”This is not the future we envisioned. And it is with heavy hearts that we move forward separately. We are real people, with real lives, with real families, friends and colleagues. Therefore, we kindly ask for privacy and compassion concerning this very personal matter.”

The love story of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert: It all starts out with the best of intentions and then it gets complicated …

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are getting divorced  … TMZ has learned.

The couple filed divorce docs a while ago, and a judge is expected to officially end their 4 year marriage today. We’re told Blake is the one who filed.

We’re also told all the financial arrangements have been worked out … made easy by the fact that they have a prenup.

The divorce was filed in Oklahoma.

Country Singer’s New Restaurant in Virginia, ‘Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill’ Sparks Second Amendment Controversy … “No Guns Permitted”

 Second Amendment controversy erupts as  ’Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill’ does not permit guns in establishment. 

Once again we are presented with a situation that puts Americans on both side of the fence of the gun question. The country singer restaurant named after himself,  ‘Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill’ in Woodbridge, VA has plunged into said gun carry controversy.  The restaurant’s statement says, “It is our desire to provide a safe, enjoyable and entertaining experience for our patrons and staff.”  Obviously, that is not a true statement because those who have carry permits and want to frequent this bar and grill do not feel safe or entertained.  How does one provide a safe environment when only the bad guys would bring guns into the establishment, because as we all know, bad guys, thieves, robbers, thugs and punks don’t follow abide by the law or signs that say, “No guns permitted”.

No Guns Allowed_Crime Allowed

A new restaurant that recently opened in Woodbridge is sparking a Second Amendment controversy, especially online.

The restaurant named for country music star Toby Keith has posted a “No guns permitted” sign on its front door and gun rights supporters are blasting the restrictions on the chain’s Facebook page. Some comments accuse Keith, who doesn’t own the restaurant, of being anti-gun.

Virginia is a right to carry state, which means residents can openly carry a firearm without a license.

The Facebook page of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill in Woodbridge posted on Saturday:

“While we understand and respect every person’s right to own and bear arms, we at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, with guidance from the State of Virginia and based on insurance regulations, have adopted a no weapons policy. It is our desire to provided a safe, enjoyable and entertaining experience for our patrons and staff.”

In the The United States, “We the People” have a US Constitution and a Second Amendment Right to bear Arms, shall not be infringed; however, private business owners also have a right to make certain guidelines for their places of business. Or do they? To read most of the comments from the anti-gun crowd show their ignorance and uninformed opinion of what is taking place. Virginia law specifically states that that an individual can carry a gun on to a premises that sells alcohol as long as the permit colder does not consume alcohol.  If they do, any person granted a concealed handgun permit who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such weapon in a public place shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Let’s see what happens when the bad guys bring guns into this establishment and rob the place knowing that it is a soft target and a gun free zone.

Some thing to think about … Isn’t it interesting that a business can discriminate against law abiding, gun carrying, Second Amendment, state law protected Americans and tell them to leave or not serve them, yet if that same establishment discriminated against the patron based on their skin color, religion or sexual orientation, they would be fined, closed down and possibly arrested for violating their civil rights?

Of course in the end, you have the right to protest this place of business with you wallet and go all “Duck Dynasty” on them. Eventually places of business will learn to understand who their customer really is and not be consistently fall in line with liberal, knee-jerk political correctness.

Country Music Singer Wayne Mills Shot & Killed by Pit & Barrel Bar Owner Chris Ferrellby in Nashville, TN … Supposedly Self Defense Over Argument Over Mills Smoking in the Bar

44 year old country singer  Wayne Mills was shot by ‘Pit & Barrel’ bar owner Chris Ferrellby at the downtown Nashville, TN bar early Saturday morning. Mills, lead singer of the Wayne Mills Band, later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. According to Ferrellby, he shot Mills in self-defense after the two got into an altercation because Mills was smoking in a non-smoking area of the restaurant. Really, the use of deadly force for smoking in a non-smoking section? I guess smoking really does kill. One would suspect that there has to be more to this story. The Nashville metro police continue to instigate the shooting.

Wayne Mills

Pic: Wayne Mills – Wayne Mills Band.com

Nashville police on Sunday said they are still investigating a fatal shooting in the early hours of Saturday morning that left a country singer dead inside a downtown Nashville bar.

Wayne Mills, 44, was shot by Pit and Barrel bar owner Chris Ferrell, police said. Ferrell told police he shot Mills in self-defense following an argument over Mills smoking in the bar. Mills later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“We’re investigating Chris Ferrell’s claims of self-defense,” said Kris Mumford, a police spokeswoman. Ferrell is not in custody and there have been no arrests, she said.

Mills toured with the Wayne Mills Band, which often performed on the college circuit. The music was “outlaw/southern rock flavored,” according to the band’s website. Early in their careers, country music stars Jamey Johnson and Blake Shelton and American Idol winner Taylor Hicks had all opened for the band.

Last Honky Tonk

On a personal note, I have actually seen Wayne Mills perform and in a day and age where Country music has become more main stream and one can’t tell the difference between pop and country, you certainly could with the Wayne Mills Band. Although I am not a huge country fan, it is refreshing when you are in a “Honky Tonk” to hear more traditional country music.  How very sad. Our prayers go out to Wayne’s family, loved ones and friends.

Taylor Hicks posted on Facebook, “My good friend Wayne Mills passed away in Nashville. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP Wayne he was my buddy. -Taylor”

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