Merle Haggard the noted country songwriter, singer, and multi- instrumentalist passed away today at the age of 79. Haggard, along with the legendary Buck Owens and Merle's band, The Strangers, helped create a the sound that was later coined the "Bakersfield Sound". The Bakersfield sound is characterized by the unique twang of the Fender Telecaster mixed with steel guitar and the addition of vocal harmonies. This set his and others sound apart from the so-called "Nashville Sound" known for its generic, formulative and over-polished sound.
Haggard, in the 1970's, was aligned with what would become the Outlaw Country movement. The Outlaw Country movement included many of Haggards friends including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. Merle continued to release new albums up into the 2000's. 1994 saw Haggard's induction to the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
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