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.

Eagles Co-Founder & Musci Icon Glenn Frey Has Passed Away at Age 67 … RIP

OMG, ANOTHER MUSIC GIANT HAS DIED FAR TOO EARLY … THE LIGHTS ARE A LITTLE LESS BRIGHT TODAY AT THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA.

Glenn Frey, the co-founder and guitarist of The Eagles has passed away at age 67 in New York City. Frey co-wrote most of the legendary Eagles songs that we all know so well and grew up with.  And then there is an entire generation of people who are saying Eagles who, we know him for the soundtrack and his recurring role from Miami Vice. No matter what the case, Music just lost another one of their giants and far too young. This one hurts. The Eagles broke up in the 80′s and thankfully “hell froze over” in 1994 when the Eagles got back together for their monster Hell Freezes Over tour and recorded music till the end.

We’re told the cause of death was a combination of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia.

Frey had been battling intestinal issues for months and had surgery in November. We’re told in the last few days his condition took a turn for the worse. He died in New York City.

Glenn co-wrote and sang on most of the Eagles hits, including “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Heartache Tonight,” to name a few. He also co-wrote “Hotel California” and “Desperado” with Don Henley and took home 6 Grammys with the band.

Tequila Sunrise

From The Eagles comes the following,

It Is With The Heaviest of Hearts That We Announce …

the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.

Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.

Don Henley issued a statement following the news, in which he called Frey “the one who started it all.”

Henley praised his fellow musician’s work ethic, “encyclopedic” knowledge of music, and devotion to his family. Read Henley’s moving and profound statement below:

“He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.

“But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything.

A great tribute at Instapundit.

Fantastic Glenn Frey interview from 1992

Dan Haggerty, Actor Who Played Grizzly Adams, Dies at 74 from Cancer

SAD NEWS, ACTOR OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE 70′S SHOWS PASSES AWAY …

Dan Haggerty, the actor who played mountain man Grizzly Adams with his sidekick, a real bear named Ben, in the 1974 movie (VIDEO) that would become a NBC TV weekly show, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, has passed away. Dan Haggerty died Friday in Burbank, California at 74 as a result of cancer of the spine. Haggerty. who rose to stardom with his rose as the gently mountain man, Grizzly Adams, who was falsely accused of murder and fled to the woods. On a personal note, how I loved this show growing up as a kid and could not wait for it all week to come on. Grizzly Adams and his relationship with an orphaned bear named Ben, Hollywood take note. The TV series ran from 1977 to 1978. Why does it seem like it was so much longer? Maybe it was because it was one of my favorite TV shows of all time!

Dan Haggerty – Rest in Peace

dan_haggerty_with_Ben

Early on in his career and this was something I never knew, Haggerty was cast in a small non-speaking role as a bodybuilder in the 1964 film Muscle Beach Party, with Franky Avalon and Annette Funicello, and also as a bodybuilder in Girl Happy. These were followed by appearances in various biker and wildlife films such as Easy Rider, Angels Die Hard, The Adventures of Frontier Fremont, and Terror Out of the Sky.

dan_haggerty

Dan Haggerty IMDb

Dan Haggerty, who played a gentle mountain man with a luxuriant beard and a bear named Ben in the 1974 movie “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” and the NBC television series of the same name, died on Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 73.

The cause was cancer of the spine, his friend and manager Terry Bomar said.

Mr. Haggerty was working as a stuntman and animal handler in Hollywood when a producer asked him to act in some opening scenes he was reshooting for a film about a woodsman and his bear. Based on the novel “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” by Charles Sellier Jr., it told the story of a California man falsely accused of murder who flees to the woods, where he develops a rapport with the animals around him and tames an orphaned bear.

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams – The Adams Cub

ABC News has confirmed with the actor’s manager Terry Bomar:

“Dan Haggerty, a beloved Father and friend, has died at 4:30 this morning at St Joseph Hospital in Burbank, CA, surrounded by his family that loved him. He had fought a long hard battle with cancer of the spine that was discovered in August of this year,” Bomar wrote in a press release.

He continued, “All the awards pale in comparison to his huge laugh and wonderful sense of humor that made everyone laugh with him. He would light up any room he entered. He loved life, loved his family, loved his friends and fans.”

Grizzly Adams Pilot Episode Part 1

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

NY Times OBIT:

Daniel Francis Haggerty was born on Nov. 19, 1942, in Los Angeles. His parents separated when he was 3, and he had a troubled childhood, escaping several times from military school before going to live with his father, an actor, in Burbank, Calif.

At 17 he married Diane Rooker. The marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Samantha Hilton, died after a motorcycle accident in 2008. He is survived by his children, Megan, Tracy, Dylan, Cody and Don.

His first film was “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), in which he played a body builder named Biff opposite Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Bit parts in biker and wildlife films followed, as characters like “Bearded Biker” or “Biker With Bandana.” He appeared briefly in “Easy Rider” as a member of the hippie commune that Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper visit.

He made several films with an outdoor setting, including “Where the North Wind Blows” (1974), in which he played a Siberian tiger trapper, and “The Adventures of Frontier Fremont” (1976). He appeared as a dog trainer in the David Carradine film “Americana” (1983). In “Grizzly Mountain” (1997) and “Escape to Grizzly Mountain” (2000) he played a character very much like Grizzly Adams.

As his career cooled, Mr. Haggerty appeared in horror films like “Terror Night” (1987), “Elves” (1989) — playing an alcoholic mall Santa — and “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” (2013).

Golden Age of Hollywood Actress Maureen O’Hara Has Passed Away at Age 95, Rest in Peace

WE HAVE LOST ANOTHER GIANT FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD …

It is a sad day for those of us who love classic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood and movies actually worth watching. Irish born actress Maureen O’Hara has passed away at age 95. One of my all-time favorite actresses and a classic beauty that represents Hollywood gone by, Maureen O’Hara, died on Saturday at her home in Boise, Idaho. Her family confirmed in a statement that she passed away from natural causes peacefully in her sleep at her on home Saturday morning surrounded by family. Maureen O’Hara is to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA next to her husband, US Navy pilot General Charles Blair who died in a plane crash in 1978.

She was born Maureen FitzSimons on August 17, 1920, in Ranelagh, Ireland, on the outskirts of Dublin and was the second of six children of Charles FitzSimons. But we knew her best for her tremendous acting roles in movies like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1939), “How Green Was My Valley” (1941), “The Black Swan” (1942), “This Land Is Mine” (1943),”The Quiet Man” (1952) and “McLintock!” (1963). However, my favorite is the timeless holiday classic, “A Miracle on 34th Street” (1947).

One of my favorite stories of Maureen O’Hara was the one where John Wayne, The Duke, paid her one of his highest complaints. John Wayne said, “I’ve had many friends, and I prefer the company of men, except for Maureen O’Hara,” he said. “She is a great guy.”

 Maureen O’Hara, Rest in Peace

Maureen_OHara

New York Times: Maureen O’Hara, Irish-Born Actress Known as Queen of Technicolor, Dies at 95.

Maureen O’Hara, the spirited Irish-born actress who played strong-willed, tempestuous beauties opposite all manner of adventurers in escapist movies of the 1940s and ’50s, died on Saturday at her home in Boise, Idaho. She was 95.

Johnny Nicoletti, her longtime manager, confirmed her death.

Ms. O’Hara was called the Queen of Technicolor, because when that film process first came into use, nothing seemed to show off its splendor better than her rich red hair, bright green eyes and flawless peaches-and-cream complexion. One critic praised her in an otherwise negative review of the 1950 film “Comanche Territory” with the sentiment “Framed in Technicolor, Miss O’Hara somehow seems more significant than a setting sun.” Even the creators of the process claimed her as its best advertisement.

Miracle of 34th Street, (Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn and a young Natalie Wood)

Yet many of the films that made the young Ms. O’Hara a star were in black and white. They included her first Hollywood movie, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1939), in which she played the haunted Gypsy girl Esmeralda to Charles Laughton’s Quasimodo; the Oscar-winning “How Green Was My Valley” (1941), in which she was memorable as a Welsh mining family’s beautiful daughter who marries the wrong man; “This Land Is Mine” (1943), a war drama in which she was directed by Jean Renoir; and “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947), the holiday classic in which she played a cynical, modern Macy’s executive who tries to prevent her daughter from believing in Santa Claus.

The Quiet Man (Maureen O’Hara & John Wayne) – The Kiss scene

I am in 100% agreement with the PJ Tatler, in they just don’t make movies like this anymore like the ones that Maureen O’Hara acted in. Imagine a movie with a plot, movies that set up the dramatic scenes, rather than just using special HD effects. Imagine a movie where the sexual tension is set up between a man and a woman rather than they just jump each others bones in two seconds and leaving a woman’s beauty to the imagination rather than a gratuitous nude scene. If you have never seen any of Maureen O’Hara’s movies, take this moment and do so.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Irish Times: Actor Maureen O’Hara dies aged 95.

“It is with a sad heart that we share the news that Maureen O’Hara passed away today in her sleep of natural causes,” a statement from the Fitzsimons family read.

“Maureen was our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie, The Quiet Man.”

“While we mourn the loss of a very wonderful woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world, especially in Ireland, to work hard to make their dreams come true and to always have the courage to stand up for themselves.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honour Maureen, we have a simple request: visit Ireland one day and think of her.”

Her manager said that Ms O’Hara had “a wicked sense of humour and never took her good fortunes for granted.”

“She was a classy, warm, feisty, funny woman and she was always so proudly Irish,” he said.

Memorial Day – 2015: A Debt We Can Never Repay … Remembering, Thanking & Honoring Our Military Heroes For Their Service & Sacrifice

REMEMBERING AND HONORING OUR MILITARY HEROES WHO GAVE ALL … BECAUSE FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE.

On this Memorial Day 2015, Scared Monkeys sends a special thank you to all of the military men, woman and their families who have sacrificed their lives to that We, the United States of America, remain the home of the free because of the brave. We thank from the bottom of our hearts those who we can no longer thank in person for their sacrifice to this great Country. Thank you and God Bless you, we shall never forget you your service and sacrifice.

Please take time today to remember what this day is truly about and the men and women that we have lost.

Memorial-Day-Arlington_nat_taps

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 – King James Version)

America has lost so many lives to protect the freedoms and liberties that we hold to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. We have lost so many brave souls to not only protect our Freedoms, but the freedoms of others from tyranny.  On this day we remember that Freedom is never Free and all those that gave all in their service and sacrifice to us.

The words of President Ronald Reagan, Arlington National Cemetery, May 31, 1982:

“The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves.” [...]

“As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: that no other generation of young men will every have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.”

Remarks at Memorial Day Ceremonies Honoring an Unknown Serviceman of the Vietnam Conflict – 5/28/84

I can remember like it was yesterday, but in fact it was more than 25 years ago, when I stood in Arlington National Cemetery for the funeral of my Uncle and namesake. I can remember the sound of Taps and the 21 gun salute as tears flowed down my face as I laid to rest my hero. A man that gave so much for his country and for me. A man who was the toughest and most honorable, proud and yet humble man I have ever known. By all accounts he should have died in the Ardennes forest during WWII, but God had other plans. However, in many respects he did lose all as he came home forever changed. My uncle volunteered for WWII at age 18, although, when I review the records he was actually 17. He, like 5 of his brothers, took part in WWII. However, my Uncle Red saw the most action in Patton’s 3rd Army. Much of what he witnessed, he took to his grave as he lost so many Brothers in Arms. When he came home some 4 years later after having defeated the Nazis, his own mom, my grandmother, did not recognize him.

As always and on a personal note I say thank you and you are missed to my uncle Red who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. My uncle served in Patton’s 3rd Army where he received the following medals. a silver star. bronze star and multiple purple hearts.  So often he did not want to talk of what went on during his military server and his heroic efforts during WWII; however, true heroes are also humble. It was not until much later when I was in college and became a history major with a specialty in US military warfare and tactics did my uncle open up and provide me with the truth of what he experienced during his military days, some of that time spent in the Ardennes , better know as the Battle of the Bulge.

Thank you from your nephew and namesake, Red

A thank you to all that made the greatest sacrifice for us. May we honor your sacrifices and make you proud.

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