©Bert Gildart: Anyone interested in learning more about the legendary country performer Merle Haggard, who died yesterday, should read: The Running Kind.
The book was written by David Cantwell and published by the University of Texas Press. I read it last year and have it with me on my Nook.
Cantwell takes about 20 of Haggard’s most famous songs and details chapter by chapter the life experiences that led to the creation of each of these songs. Remember: “Mama Tried,” “Sing Me Back Home,” Silver Wings,” or “Okie from Muskogee”?
Want to know what led to the creation of each song? Cantwell explains.
As a young man Haggard and his family were challenged by immense poverty, which created a difficult environment for a young Haggard. Most likely rebellion led to flirtation with crime and that subsequently led to several years of imprisonment at San Quinton. To overcome these challenges Haggard had to have been driven – but he also had to be blessed with immense talent; which he was. And it was widely recognized. Not only was Haggard included in the Country Music Hall of Fame, but he was recognized by many presidents for his talents.
His demise at age 79 represents the end of a musical era.
Perhaps not surprising, I have virtually every song he ever wrote – and sang. Obviously on some level, I believe I can empathize with the words and melody, but for Haggard to have been so popular, many must also believe that they can too.
If you’re a Merle Haggard fan I highly recommend The Running Kind.
ABOUT THIS TIME LAST YEAR:
4th ed. Autographed by the Authors
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$16.95 + Autographed Copy