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

Alan Jackson Honored By Songwriting Agency

Twenty years after he first made waves in country music, Alan Jackson added an unexpected trophy Wednesday to what’s become a significant haul of riches. He was recognized with the ASCAP Founders Award, given by a major songwriting agency to reward a lifetime of creative work. It’s a rare honor. Only a smattering of people have received it, and the previous winners are definitely major talents — Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, James Taylor, Smokey Robinson and Emmylou Harris, among them. Alan found out only recently that he’d be added to the Founders history. Read More