Pardon Me: Merle Haggard Gets A Kennedy Center Honor

Merle Haggard got his due this weekend. Already a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, he received a Kennedy Center Honor alongside Oprah Winfrey, Sir Paul McCartney, choreographer Bill T. Jones and Broadway lyricist Jerry Herman. It’s a bit ironic — Merle was the first country artist to perform at the Kennedy Center just six days after it opened in September 1971. Still, he’s not the first country artist to receive one of the Honors named after the venue. He’s been preceded by George Jones, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Roy Acuff and Willie Nelson. Read More

Merle Haggard, Double Honoree

Merle Haggard has been called the Poet of the Common Man, and his ability to capture the hopes and fears of real people with his songwriting — not to mention his expressiveness as a singer — helped him lock up a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Now he’s got a place in another hall of honor: the California Hall of Fame, housed at the California Museum, just one block from the State Capitol in Sacramento. Merle’s induction was announced Wednesday by the state’s First Lady Maria Shriver among a class of 14 new members. The class includes Barbra Streisand, Betty White, former Governor Pat Brown, jeans maker Levi Strauss and director James Cameron. Read More