Outlaw country music legend Merle Haggard may have left this world, but he left behind an entire lifetime worth of unreleased music.
“I’ve probably got 300 to 400 songs that I haven’t released that I collected over the years. We call it ‘The Archive.’ And we haven’t released anything from that. When I get unable to record or sing anymore, or get killed or something, well they’ll probably put it out,” said Haggard in an interview with Broadway of Country 92.5 in Connecticut.
“We’ve got a brand-new studio and we’ve been recording right along all the way, although the lack of radio play for the new stuff makes it difficult.” Haggard continued.
“If they put on a new song of mine, they’ve gotta take off ‘Mama Tried.’ So I’m kind of fighting myself on new releases.”
Now that Haggard’s music is more popular than ever (the most popular album on iTunes is his 40 Greatest Hits compilation of new recordings of his old hits) perhaps we might get to hear some of the unreleased music.
We sure hope so!
Haggard was laid to rest in a private ceremony today (April 9th) in Palo Cedro, CA, near his home. Long time friend and fellow performer Marty Stuart was a big part of the ceremony, that Haggard planned himself.
“He [Haggard] requested that [his wife] Connie sing ‘Precious Memories,’ that me and Connie sing his song ‘Silver Wings’, and that I officiate the service. We’re honored to do it.” Stuart said.
Fans can celebrate the life of Merle Haggard in a few ways. SiriusXM’s “Willie’s Roadhouse” channel has temporarily changed over to “Merle’s Roadhouse” until Sunday evening, and will be playing songs, Merle-centric programs, and tributes to The Hag all weekend.
RFD-TV is also paying tribute to Merle Haggard all weekend by airing archived episodes from The Marty Stuart Show, Hee Haw, and The Porter Wagoner Show where Merle appeared numerous times (see schedule). CMT will also be re-airing its Merle Haggard tribute on Saturday and Sunday evening at 9 p.m./8 p.m. Central.
Listen to the song that was played at Haggard’s service today, his classic “Silver Wings” below:
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