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The records in the house I really remember were, well, Glen Campbell's 'Wichita Lineman' and 'Galveston.' Even as a kid, I knew these songs were glorious. My dad also had records by Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Waylon Jennings, and then there was also the Eagles and Don Henley. Anything Texas, which includes Don Henley, was big.
And I think it's safe to say that the single very impressive figure to me was Merle Haggard.
Laughter is ever young, whereas tragedy, except the very highest of all, quickly becomes haggard.
Many people have compared me to the Victorian adventure writer, Rider Haggard. I accept that as a compliment. As a boy growing up in Central Africa I read all Haggard's African novels.
It's cool when your husband starts to sing some old Merle Haggard song and I can pop in with a harmony and it doesn't sound too bad.
I try to write like the writers I admire - I rip them off in form. It comes from George Strait and Merle Haggard records, and country music in general is really good at that, the twisted phrase... So I'm always looking for that angle in my own work.
I had always loved music. I grew up listening to classic country, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard. My dad loved Vern Gosdin and Keith Whitley. So I kept going to class and started getting totally into playing guitar and teaching myself these songs.
You know, legends are people like Haggard and Jones and Wills and Sinatra. Those people are legends. I'm just a young buck out here trying to keep in that same circle with the rest of 'em.
The Bowery was a place that would let us do original songs - not just covers - but we would have to work for tips, so we learned how to work an audience. In order to keep our jobs, we had to keep people happy, so that meant playing the latest Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top or Merle Haggard.
I listen more to music when I'm on my computer. I'm into the latest YouTube thing. I'm a nanosecond kind of listener, but if I'm driving I would be listening to a Merle Haggard box set. It's a weird experience listening to 'Working Man Blues' by Merle Haggard and cruising around in a Porsche.
I've had mentors who were kind of the troubadour singer-songwriters, like Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, and that's just what I've always liked - people who would talk real honestly about their lives and their circumstance.
If there ever was a poet for the working class Billy Joe Shaver and Merle Haggard would be my nomination.
David Allan Coe
I really like Alan Jackson, in Country Music. I think he's really very, very talented along with George Jones, and Merle Haggard, the same old favorites.
I read all of Rider Haggard's books. For me he had the romance of Africa with a little bit of mysticism. I'm delighted to be looked on as his heir and be categorised as an adventure novelist because that's exactly what I am.
Around 14, I was turned on to Shania, Reba, Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood... and I've followed it ever since.
Laura Bell Bundy
My music comes from country music. Merle Haggard is God, and I do believe that. I'm not too tuned in to country music. I don't know who Brooks and Dunn are. I like Shania Twain, though!
Loudon Wainwright III
If I'm listening to country, it's Hank Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard and stuff like that. If people out there don't take that stuff seriously, well, they just haven't listened to it and don't know what they're talking about.
I listen to Lil Wayne, and then I listen to Merle Haggard.
I was mainly influenced by the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, and others like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash.
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