July 1st, 2010
Merle Haggard
Learning to Live with Myself

“I’m living proof that things go wrong in America and I’m also living proof that things can go right,” says Merle Haggard. In Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself, American Masters’ candid documentary about the country music legend, who is often called “the poet of the common man,” tells it like it is. The film features interviews with comrades and fellow musicians including Robert Duvall, John Fogerty, Billy Gibbons, Kris Kristofferson, Keith Richards, Tanya Tucker, Don Was, and Dwight Yoakam, among others. The hardscrabble people with whom he was raised – his juvenile delinquency and incarcerations – still inform his creativity and perspective. Hailed as “country music’s Frank Sinatra” in a recent review of his latest release I AM WHAT I AM (Vanguard Records), American Masters celebrates this “Lonesome Fugitive” in Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself premiering Wednesday, July 21 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings.)

Watch a preview:

“When listening to his songs, it has been said that you recognize the truth in the stories he tells,” says Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters, a seven-time winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series. “Haggard is an artist who’s still on top of his game and through the ups and downs; he’s remained true to himself and to his music.”

Haggard actually lived the rambling, gambling, love ‘em and leave ‘em, often brutal life that remains the bedrock of country music lyrics – he hopped his first freight train at the age of 10, became a chronic truant and drinker and was locked up some 17 times as a youngster. Serious criminal charges followed, including car theft. He was, literally, in the inmate audience in 1959, when Johnny Cash gave his New Year’s Day concert in San Quentin – and, as he’s said repeatedly, “my life changed forever.”

For Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself, filmmaker Gandulf Hennig followed Haggard with his camera for the past three years – at home on the ranch and on his concert tours. A kind of wandering troubadour, who’s led his band The Strangers since 1965, Haggard is known as a singer’s singer and a guitar player’s guitar player – his voice, his finger picking and his interpretations are like none others. “For me as a documentary filmmaker, it has been a dream come true and at times a challenge,” says Hennig. “Merle is very guarded, at the same time, very honest. As an artist, he is as original and as spontaneous as it gets. Working with Merle, I learned to prepare for the unexpected at all times – it seems that he often doesn’t know himself what he’s going to do next. There is no middle ground with him. It’s not always easy, but it’s always exciting.”

At 73, Haggard recently survived major lung surgery but is now in top physical shape, full of creative juices and hitting new artistic and commercial highs. The contradictions and self-awareness are remarkable. His expressed concern for keeping his music honest in a changing industry and in a changing world is palpable. Confesses Haggard, “I would’ve become a lifetime criminal if music hadn’t saved my ass.” He is currently on tour in support of I AM WHAT I AM, his first new solo album in nearly three years, which debuted Billboard’s Country Chart at #18 and Top 200 Chart at #76.

American Masters Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself is produced by Spothouse GmbH in cooperation with THIRTEEN for American Masters, BBC Music Entertainment, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg and supported by Filmstiftung NRW and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Gandulf Hennig is the director and producer. Susan Lacy is the series creator and executive producer of American Masters. American Masters is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for American Masters is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Jack Rudin, Elizabeth Rosenthal in memory of Rolf W. Rosenthal, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers.

  • Big G

    Merle Haggard will always be the King. His voice is still unmatched by anyone, and will always remain so.

  • Angus A

    First saw him at the Mr. & Mrs. Club in Bakersfield ,Ca in 1963 . Still with him today . And all my friends are still

    strangers.

  • Doug Cook

    I was a perrforming musician/songwriter for many years and Merle Haggard is and was my ideal. To this day I leap at the prospect of his new recordings which, for the most part, never disappoint. Sing on Merle! Our ears are always open…
    I am so much looking forward to this program.

  • Slim

    Hag is one of the top dogs for sure, a fantastic song writer and a good singer. I Can’t wait to see the program.

  • Bart Teague

    Yes, I agree with the rest of the posts here. This is going to be a great show indeed! I had the pleasure of watching them film a small segment with my dad (Bob Teague) and the guys that are putting this show together are just awesome! They are not just great film makers, they are very big Merle Haggard fans as well.

  • Steve Hall

    I saw him at the Heart of Illinois Fair and Western Illinois University in 1976. I just saw him in January and it was a precious experience just like the first two. There are few like him. Great singer, songwriter, guitarist, legend.

  • Kari Hollenbeck

    We love Merle and his family, they will never be another man so talented, as I write this my hubby is in LA, fighting the BP oil spill, he has his ipod and says what gets him through the days are listening to hag. We see him just about everytime he is within reach of us, so far this year we have seen him 3 times. This last time I (we) were lucky enough to get a poster with his autograph on it. We have several different item which we will keep in the family forevery. Our little grandson is 2 and he LOVES merles songs, everytime he comes to ours house (we are local for the grandson) he says motorcycle, merle haggard…lol what more can I ask for..his grandpa gets the guitar out and TRYS to play, but it too funny he has no idea what a cord a note or anything about playing the guitar, thats the papa I’m talking about……….

    I always want his family to know just how much we appreciate the fact that they let him share his music, talent and wisdom with his fans. When he is on stage sometimes he really looks like he is in alot of pain, I have back and leg problems so I know whats its like, in fact waiting in line to get tickets are about the only time I do not complain. Standing, walking it all hurts and he has 30 yrs on me….lol

    On to the reason I started to write something, I do not want to miss this show, does anyone know for dish network what channel this would be on?

    Thanks All

  • Helen Toth

    Merle always has and always will define country music…we love ham and his family very much and spend as much time as possible with them

  • Helen Longino

    I’ve been following Mr.Haggard’s career since 1965…I was 10 years old when I heard him on the radio for the 1st time..I WAS HOOKED!!! One of my dreams was to meet this man one day..I love this man…after getting married,raising a family,working hard for years..I set out to make my dream come true..IT DID ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO..I MET MY HERO..MR.MERLE HAGGARD..(thanks to FRANK MULL) and I haven’t looked back since…we have become very close friends through the years-I attend 95% of his concerts each year, I’ve even formed a special friendship with his wife Theresa..what a sweetheart…I work with them and play with them..I’m asked to help sell the Merchandise at some shows and even CALLED ON STAGE TO HELP THERESA SING BACK UP..WHAT A DREAM COME TRUE..WHAT A ICON..MY HERO-MY MENTOR..”THE MAN-THE MASTER..MR. MERLE HAGGARD”!
    I LOVE YOU ALWAYS MERLE..your friend..Helen from Detroit!
    PS. THESE NEW COMER WANNA-BE’s SHOULD TAKE A LESSON FORM THIS ICON..
    You guys aren’t singing “COUNTRY MUSIC”….YOU’RE JUST WASTING TIME AND MAKIN NOISE!

  • Bob Lipar

    What more can be said that has’nt been said already? Merle Haggard IS Country Music. So much talent in one human being!!!! He has NO equal !!!!!!!! There will NEVER be another like him !! He has his own way of doing things. He is not like the singers of today. He is a true stylist !! Today the music is all processed like lunchmeat !! The music has no emotion, it just does’nt move me at all !! When Merle sings, you can just feel what he’s singing about. The songs he writes, you can relate to . He truly is the poet of the common man !! LONG LIVE MERLE HAGGARD !!!!
    GOD BLESS MERLE AND HIS FAMILY !!!!! Can’t wait to see the special on PBS !!!!

  • KB

    Merle is a genuine walking contradiction (a song by a guy named Kris) in a good way. He writes, interprets songs in remarkable ways. I love it when he adds horns, fiddles, steel (any) guitars, dobro, harmonica. Try “Live and Love Always” “Living with the Shades Pulled Down” “Stingeree” “Don’t Give Up on Me” “Ramblin Fever” “Sin City Blues” “Pretty When It’s New” “Under the Bridge” “Makes No Difference Now” “Sweethearts or Strangers” “Today I Started Loving You Again” “Garbage Man” “That’s The News” “Daddy Frank” . . . and the list goes on and on. These are just a few of the songs I love from him. I found out from iTunes a number of overlooked gems, too. Today, I just about own every song he’s recorded. He’s moved Willie Nelson over in my iTunes. That’s no easy task with me. But Merle is just that good, fun, and constantly changing. Man, he works hard in the studio.

    Yep, he sings what he likes, and you’ll like it too. He speaks to all of us. He’s seen it go away (a latest upbeat tempo song). I don’t think Merle Haggard could ever blow sunshine up your arse, except in fun. Nope, he sings and plays like a straight shooter. listen to him, buy his music, see a show. You won’t be disappointed. He’s a working man, and will give you his best effort. Merle, come back to Oregon again–I want to catch a show. I couldn’t get down to Bend when you put on a show here recently.

    Thanks Merle for being so creative and consistent in what you do. Thanks for being real. Good stuff!

  • Rick

    Saw an advance copy of this show and I can tell you that it is without question the perfect bio doc on Merle. It is rich, respectful, insightful, funny and deeply appreciative of the majesty of the all the brilliant works that Merle crafted out of his hard life, heart and soul. It’s a gem worth seeing more than once. ENJOY!

  • Mary Morris

    My late husband and I have followed Merle since 1965, after hearing him sing “Branded Man”. He is the MOST TALENTED performer I have ever heard (although I loved Lefty Frizzell’s music). Merle’s voice, style and music are one of a kind, which no other entertainer can even compare to. His talents as a singer, writer and instrumentalist are absolutely INSURMOUNTABLE. To hear his wonderful (and very unique) voice, deliver songs with such meaning is an incredible experience. His music has such feeling and significance – straight from the heart; and, people can really relate to his songs.

    Singers and songs of today sound the same (nothing that sets one singer apart from another and words without feeling). We are very fortunate to be able to experience the MAGNIFICENT talent by this EXTRAORDINARY individual.

    I am really looking forward to seeing the PBS special on July 21st.

  • Emily41162

    I look forward to watching this extraordinary country legend on July 21st!

  • hagblay

    As we all know by now that Merle has been tabbed as the Sinatra of country music. That says enough. I am convinced that the Hag has something that other pretenders dont have–I dont know what it is but i have never ran into an article that spoke bad of Merle- Even those that dont even like country music- they still li8ke Merle Haggard. Im hoping to see Merle in concert in Fredurksburg Maryland in september. I guess i better get5 my tickets early because Merle is on fire at the present time.God bless the Hag who did it all and came out on top.

  • John Newsome

    Thanks to Merle for living his songs–He lived them ate them and drank them.What a star Merle is–Never will be another. A Merle Haggard only comes around every 100 years, So that leaves us all out of the picture. Oh heck maybe there wont be another ever.What a great song on his new cd–called–we:re falling in love again”—-this is my favorite song on there- It seem he wrote that song for me and my wife–I cry sometimes when i play it.

  • B.T.

    Merle is the greatest singer ever. I have seen him in concert a lot and it was great. Thanks for all of your great music and keep on singing. The #1 HAG FAN B.T.

  • Peter

    I was introduced to the Hag (and C & W) when I was in my 20’s by a co-worker. BTW : I’m 60+ now. I have never seen him BUT am going to do that next week ! I have more of his Albums than I can count. I cry alot when I listen to his Hurtin’ Songs. I’m bettin’ I’ll shed a few tears next Wednesday too. Thanx, Merle. You’ve got a special place in my heart…..

  • Tom D

    the voice the music the reason i still play today thank you merle

  • IBATNRN

    Hag has been the inspiration for so many artists and songwriters. It must be amazing to know that you have touched and inspired so many. What a legend.

  • Josh Williams

    I can’t wait to watch this documentary and then see a Merle Haggard concert in Renfro Valley KY this saturday! Merle is one of the last living legends along with George Jones.

  • Jerry & Kari

    I seen the special on PBS today, as always really enjoyed it, also the sunday morning special. Does anyone know how to be notified by email of any tv sppearences, etc of Merle. I’m going to make it in 2010 or 2011 my dream to meet this man and his family. I hope Treasa knows how much we appreciate just how thankful we are that she shares her man with the rest of the world….LOVE this family!!!!!!!!

  • Phillip C. Thomas

    Me and the Mrs. attended ‘The Hag’ concert in Greenwood , S. C, U.S.A. in 86 . Five of my River Rat friends also attended the show with us. One of them got locked up trying to get Momma Judd to autograph his shoe. He also put a hell of a fight , the Judds did not miss a beat, priceless. I went to find out when I could bail him out . Wandering around backstage I crossed paths with Merle, and meet the Judds who were trying to keep my friend from going to jail, I can still here them , ” He,s Redheaded like us please let him go !” , no luck , assualted multiple Police officers . The show was great , The Mrs. being an Okie was not aC.W. fan but she did enjoy the show. Funny how things work out in life . I am the one who never was going to see Thirty. Still here with the Mrs. . I guess I am going to keep her she is pretty good one.

  • Tommy Miles

    Merle, my living hero.

  • lovin’merle4ever

    I LOVE Merle and I just don’t mean I LOVE MERLE. I love him because at a young age when I started listening to country music, his music is the music that “personifies” music and not just country music. He sings what he lives and it comes through in his music. Not many “real” musicians can do that.
    For that he will always be my all time favorite. CLASSIC and a LEGEND.
    I love you Merle!

  • Missi W

    The greatest living musician ever! From his songwriting abilities to his execution, amazing. Truly amazing.

  • karl-gustaf ryderup

    My all time Country-Musical hero. One of my all time favorite singer/songwriters,
    KARL-GUSTAF RYDERUP. SWEDEN

  • JEAN LEWIS

    My husband was an Okie from Muskogee, and I joined him here in 1976. We loved his albums. I still line-dance to his songs. Can’t wait for the OETA show tonite.

  • Paul Scheer

    My favorite version of “Okie from Muskogee” is still the cover by Arlo. 8-)

  • Lee Howell Naples Florida

    Combine these into one Man ;
    1…Songwriter
    2..Singer
    3..Guitar/Fiddle
    The HAG should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for his ( writing and singing ) !!
    He can do it ALL — The Real Deal !!
    And he has done it ALL — many, many, times !!
    Name me one other Singer/Songwriter that has done it more !!
    This old world is full of singers , but very few , Real Deals !!

  • Amy Cannon

    Lifelong HAG FAN, my parents raised all of us to love his music. All our children love his music too. Can’t wait to see him tonight on PBS. LOVE YA MEREL!!! Prayers and Blessings to you and your family.

  • George

    I’m sorry, but I dfon’t like this genre of music.

  • Leona

    Absolutely loved this…was able to take in a concert by Mr. Haggard a couple of months ago here in Alberta, Canada and was not dissappointed…he still remains one of my all time favorite songwriters, singer and performer….

  • Larry and June Mitten

    Merle Haggard is, and always has been, a favorite with our entire family. .Loved getting to see him, finally in Reading, Pennsylvania. We were planning a trip to Tennesee to see him years ago, but he came down with pneumonia, and had to cancel. Recently visiting our people in Arkansas, we found him to be their favorite, as well. From Pennsylvania to Arkansas. He is just wonderful. We absolutely loved the program we watched tonight. “Learning to Live With Myself” Awesome and so meaning ful.

  • Jo

    As a African american southerner I too am impressed by Mr. Haggard not a an african american but as a singer Hag gave country it’s blues soul whether he knows it or not which I suspect he knows my favorite song is working man what person does it not touch and the great Okie from Muskogee what great song this documentary was very touching and great insight to this great artist country music fans you should appreciate such a national treasure.

  • Gerry Kopp

    Merle touches my soul like no other singer. The documentary is timely and timeless in its scope. Quite a few songs I never heard and so many of my favorites: Hungry Eyes, Okie,
    Are the Good Times Over for Good, etc.

    Thank you Gandulf Hennig and all the folks who contributed to this documentary on Merle.

    See you in Newport News, Merle!

  • carolyn

    FABULOUS show on Merle Haggard. Seeing the old footage brought back a lot of memories and he sounds as good today as he did 35 years ago.

  • Armen Manuel

    I watched the Masters. And I do think Merel Haggart was a true poet. God Bless him.

  • Jeanette

    Merle has been a favorite of ours since he started. he is the best.

  • Gail

    PBS couldn’t have chosen a more wonderful musician than Merle Haggard for American Masters. He is truly one of the very best and so many of his songs can make you happy and sad at the same time. He truly has a God-given talent and I am so thankful that he has shared this talent with us. There is no one like him and no music that can compare to his. Thank you Merle for sharing your great talent.

  • Ken Wellock Bad Axe, MI

    I had the pleasure of attending the most recent concert of Merle Haggard in Sault Ste. Marie, MI Sunday evening 7-18-10. What a tremendous experience. The ONLY thing I can imagine that would top this experience would be to have the opportunity to spend an afternoon in a boat with Merle, in a secluded lake in Ontario, with a cold “blue” and catching of load of walleye. Thanks Merle for for your many years of service.

  • Helen McKnight, Osceola, Iowa

    Merle Haggard is my all time favorite singer. His songs always tell a great story.

  • Bill Young

    I just finished watching Merle on PBS in his special and what a presentation it is. To me Merle is truly a “poet of the common man”. He is as genuine as you can possibly find in any artist. His composure and willingness to talk about his life, in a way that the common man can relate to, is unsurpassed. Almost 20 years ago a young man from England composed a charcoal portrait of Merle for me. I was very fortunate to have him see it one (morning) after a performance here in Florida. I will never forget his look and comment as he stared at it and exclaimed ” I was a pretty good looking feller back then”. He signed it for me and we shook hands and the rest is history. I always liked to hear him interview with the likes of Ralph Emory, Crook and Chase and Bob Edwards. God willing,
    I will be at his Florida presentations in 2011. I feel that I have been blessed to have met him and enjoy his music.
    MASTERS , I think has done a great job for Merle.

  • Vicki Prentice

    Did Merle Haggard ever record a bad song? I don’t think so. He’s been my favorite since I first heard him in the 60’s. His style, his voice … can’t be beat. American Masters “Learning to Live with Myself” is super!

  • Lindsay Finnigan

    Just finished watching the American Masters Learning to Live with Myself premiering Wednesday, July 21 at 9 p.m.
    WOW….No need for words to describe the raw talent of this man. He is what a legand is made of. I do not believe that any other artist in Country music has yet brought such truth & emotion to thier lyrics such as Merle…..or EVER will).I second exactly what Bob Lipar (who commented above) said! DITO to everything he wrote! and to Merle… may he live long & keep playing hard and may God continue to Bless him & his family.

  • ibivi

    I grew up with the attitude that Okie from Muskogee was backlash against hippies and support for Nixon (who we hated). I thought Merle was a reactionary. And I was one of the few who actually knew and listened to country music back then. I love trains too. My father worked for CN laying track and repairing the lines. I really started to listen to Merle because of Dwight Yoakam. He did Merle’s songs and the I listened to the lyrics. Merle is good, very good. There’s a lot of sadness there. It is nice to see Merle smile. He doesn’t do it often enough. He has a great family, great older children, his wives are great ladies-he shouldn’t be sad. Thank you for this program. It was great. Take care Merle!

  • LJ “Bootsie” Notariano

    My wife and I were fortunate enough to be invited on his bus after a performance at the Texas Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana back in the late eighties. I had admired the man since I heard his first recording and to meet Merle in person was a dream come true. Talking to him was like talking to one of my own brothers, he treated as a friend and that is something I’ll never forget. He is truly a man of honor and anyone who’s ever met him will concur.
    Merle told me that he and The Strangers were leaving Baton Rouge that night and driving straight to Santa Barbra, California to play for President Ronald Reagan. Oh what an honor!

  • Janis D.

    I’ve seen Merle Haggard several times over the past 30 years, with the most recent being June 2009. He still puts on the best show around. Living Legend doesn’t even come close to describing what he is. When you hear one of his songs, you are instantly transported back in time & connect that song to a memory. I have to admit this show made me kind of sad when I thought about losing this American treasure.

  • Dave Barry

    Merle is the best country music singer in the whole wide world! I was in high school in late 70s and early 80s and switched genre’s of music (rock to country) in large part because of Merle. (”My favorite memory” – best country music song EVER!) His music had a big influence on me and how I looked at life. Wow, what openness and honesty – Thanks for a look into the man I admired from a far. He is the best.

  • John Yoder

    One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen!

  • GALE CLECKNER

    I have always enjoyed listening to Merle and hearing about his struggles in life. His songs reach into the soul and tell what life is all about.

    Some of his songs I have never heard, but I know that the ones I have not heard tell a story of life. I am going to make a effort to listen to his recent songs.

    Merle I am glad you are doing well.

  • john runion

    clint eastwood should direct a bio-pic on merle’s life.

  • ken wimpy

    your song (muskogee) was my first . it was one of the very best inspirational ever. you are a very much appreciated artist in todays world. God gave you your talent, thank him for it. sing one for Jesus.John 3:16

  • Karen Brown

    OMG…I just watched this show. I LOVED it. I need to know where I can buy this!!!

  • mike rawlins

    merle.the first time i met you was at the ono store just out side of redding ca. i set on your lap well you sang a soug . that you were wrighting.iwas about (8) years old im 49 lve met you sents l have lots of your (8) tracks and cassets and now cds your still #1 in my life and always will be.thanks for every thing. mike.

  • M. Donde

    Merle Haggard is by far the best singer and songwriter ever!! I love his music now and will for always. Beautiful voice! God bless you and stay strong!

  • k l stoltzfus

    Absolutely amazing program about an absolutely amazing man and musician!! Over many years his music has traced not only his personal life but that of America also. Thanks for the best PBS show I’ve seen.

  • Pete Cowper

    I have listened to Merle Haggard since the mid-1960’s here in the Central Valley. I can never dust my furniture or hose off my pickup truck in the summer without humming “Tulare dust in a farmboy’s nose, wondering where the freight train goes . . .”
    He has been my favorite singer for most of my life. I hope he keeps it up for many more years.

  • Evie Magana

    Just watched ” Learning to Live With Myself” Merle Haggard story. it is one of the BEST presentations on PBS I have ever seen. So many memories !!! Wonderful

  • Gerry Kopp

    I really enjoyed the documentary! It included so many of my favorites and some I had never heard. Merle has jerked a tear from my eyes more times than I can count. He touches my soul like no other artist.

    See you in Newport News, Merle!

  • Mary Lea White

    Is it possible to buy my husband a video of the American Masters on Merle Haggard shown on 7-21-10 at 8:00 pm, CST. on KHOU-TV, Channel 8, and how much is it…Thank you for our courtesies extended this request.

  • Arthur Mensor

    I have seen Merle several times in person, he can’t fail to give a tremendous show every night with all the wonderful songs he’s written and recorded. For the rest of you die hard fans, like myself, be sure and purchase his three box sets on Bear Family Records, that contain every song he recorded for Capitol Records, they are magnificent tributes to this fantastic talent, complete with books of photographs, stories and complete discography information and more. May Merle continue to entertain and inspire us for many more years!

  • Phyllis Cue

    The PBS special about Merle Haggard was interesting. The remark about how music saved him was insightful.

  • Helen BRADY

    Only caught the last 15 minutes of the telecast – are you going to show it again? Please…!!! Tell me when!
    Thanks – his poetry in music is simply the best. Thanks, Helen and Mick

  • colin fitzpatrick

    Hi Helen -

    You can currently watch the film in its entirety online! Find it here:

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/merle-haggard/watch-the-full-film/1605/

  • dan nielsen

    CAN I PURCHASE A COPY OF THIS DOCUMENTARY?

  • Val Sanfilippo

    Please tell Mr. Haggard that many of the college students of the 60’s and 70’s were children of the working class, mechanics sending their kids to college for free to become teachers, nurses, accountants, engineers, not the rich kids of doctors, lawyers and business executives.
    Also, the Vietnam War was a lie, and the same corporates who tortured him in jail, also dropped bombs on poor innocent foreign people while trying to take over their country against any form of democratic resistance to corporate domination, and continue to do so today.
    Surely he must realize that the twin towers fell by preplanned demolition and no-shoot orders, we have eyewitness and physical evidence, and we must resist the Republican party and conservatives who are lying press, cheating elections, stealing taxes and killing us with fake epidemics, jails, lack of safety and war. Thank you.

  • Mary M

    Merle is the epitome of cool! What an entertainer he is, I got the chance to see him in 2008, the concert did not last long enough- but it was really something to see him in person. I love his voice, he draws you to listen to a story…..

  • Mark Neese

    This documentary was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. Lots of great moments in the film, but it was especially emotional and moving when Merle and his family drive by his boyhood home (I won’t give away any spoilers).

    Merle Haggard is truly an American treasure.

  • T_boy

    I grew up around Merle loved his music then & still do! my favorite song is (If we make it through December)
    Best C&W singer ever!!

  • D l Colwell

    I love M. H.–Grew up in the 60’s listening to him. Love the music. The doc was excellent. I relate to the hardship he endured. Wish him the best!!!

  • D L Colwell

    I love Merle’s music. My Mother loved country music, therefore I do too. All the classic country. I loved the doc–it was great. Best to Merle!!! Thanks for all the great entertainment you’ve given us all these years.

  • R.Goodale

    Can I purchase a copy of this documentary?

  • T. Russey

    Merle we love you just for you, and your GREAT music is a bonus! Been a fan since 60’s…gettin little long in the tooth myself, but hang in there, we want many more years of your music!
    Luv ya,
    T

  • G,Woolf

    Always loved Merle ——-He is a reflection of all of us. Just listen to ” Always Loving You” and
    you’re hooked…………………………….

  • G. M. Koll

    There was a time when, for some strange reason, you’d have had to have held a gun on me to make me listen to Merle Haggard. Now you’d have to use a gun to stop me from listening to him! Since Merle in this documentary seems to associate a change in which one no longer likes certain things and likes things they’ve never liked with ne’s “body getting ready to die,” but the mind not accepting it. I hope this is not the explanation for me finally realizing what manby, many have known for a long time, that he is an extraordinary singer and songwriter, not to mention musician (both guitar and fiddle). Thank you for this documentary.

  • Gail

    Hey, met you in 62 when you were on C.Herb’s show and playing at Blackboard n Lucky Spot. I too lived in Oildale’. Enjoyed the trip around O dale. Many memories. I moved in71, went to Montana.So glad you hung in Merle, so many fell by the way.Really enjoyed your documentary.Keep on keeping on, you give poor folk music we can identify with.

  • D.Austin

    I’ve always loved Merle Haggard! I have some old, old 78 records of his singing. Loved it!

  • Sherry

    Does anyone know how to purchase a DVD or copy of this documentary? My father is a die-hard fan and is ill, I know this would brighten up his day! Please email chloe150@hotmail.com if anyone can help me purchase it.

  • Rusty

    Just saw the movie as part of the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival. Fantastic insight into a performer I new little about. I’m not a huge country fan, but will definitely be picking up some of Merles’ albums. Would like to purchase the movie if/when available. A complex man, but a great look into the life of an important artist. Thank you!

  • Duke Gilleland

    We enjoyed the PBS show on Merle. THANKS for all the support you gave Western Swing when times were tough! We really appreciated it! Tough times but you’re a survivor! Hang in there.
    Down in Texas.

  • Reena

    I taped it and have watched it about 5 times from start to finish. It is the most fascinating story ever told. We are about the same age and I came from very similar roots so I can really identify with that time in the good old USA. .

  • laura penland

    always LOVED u, Merle!,been praying for a Full recovery, NOTHING my JESUS can’t do!, I prayed for JESUS 2 put ANGELS in ALL of my Grandson’s pockets while he was in Iraq & Afghanistan and he did! THANK JESUS for keeping my Marine Grandson SAFE! & I’m still praying for ALL the Troops over there! GOD BLESS!

  • Ronald

    What else can be said of Merle, I just recently attended one of his few concerts visits to Canada, at the Rama Casino Entertainment Centre in Rama Ontario and must say after travelling 1100 kilometers and $1000.00 dollars later including motel fees ect… it was all worth it, but with all that money spent ,still could not get his autograph lol. Merle has givin me hope through my life in the words that he puts in his songs that are day to day realities and like him I call it as I see fit, but like Merle it got me in a few predicaments.

    However with front row seats and standing about 20 feet from him I noticed his lost of weigh, pale looking and bony fingers, made me realized that maybe his cancer recovery is not at its best, we all hope good health for he has much to give to his family 1st and his fans 2nd, and finally what about Merle, what position does he puts himself or like his wife ask him Why are you punishing yourself, and that question to Merle was seen on http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/merle-haggard/watch-the-full-film/1605/. And on that note I wish him anf his family all the best and good health.

  • G & J

    Merle Haggard is the greatest singer of all time . What a clear beautiful voice. He can make you feel what he is singing about. Our favorite forever. The PBS concert was so moving. Can hardly wait to purchase it.

  • Shellie

    I have loved Merle since I was old enough to know what music was! He is the Man! Best country singer of all time. Love, Love, Love you Merle.

  • Brenda

    My husband and I love Merle. My husband Dennis sings and plays his guitar just like Merle…sings and listen’s to CD everyday.

  • charles todhunter

    Merle is one of the the best country music singers of all time his songs have meaning

  • ron wright

    merle has always been my favorite country singer of all time. my wish for christmas is to meet him or get to hear him sing cause he the greatness there ever was, is, or no one else on earth can sing like him, from your number 1 fan ron.

  • Tae

    When will this film documentary be available on DVD? I wanted to buy several as Christmas gifts!

  • Virgil Essex-PKA:Jerry Dallas

    I was at Capitol Records in Hollywood,California getting my picture taken with Merle when he recorded “Okie Frm Muskoee” back in 1969. I had just did some recording with The Hag two weeks before up at Kern River where Merle had just built a new Recording Studio. I got a contract with Country Heart Records and was associated Donna Fargo whom was on the same label at the time with “My Side Of The Bed”. The A Side. Merle is a long time friend of mine and I am proud to say his style of country music is in my blood too. I knew Lefty Frizzell real well and he gave me a white leather jacket copied as the likes of” Wild Bill Cody”. Nudie of Hollywood made it for him. This was in Long Beach,California back in 1957 at The Hitchin’ Post where he was Guest Starring that night we met. Merle always keep singing son.

  • Nils Roland-from Norway

    In New-Orleans in -64 i heard Mr.Haggard for the first time.I almost bought the Jukebox.Since then ive been sold to this amazing artist,collecting ev thing i could lay my hands on.He has given me so much when times were hard.Thank you Hag,and May God bless you and your family.Yours Nils Roland-Norway.

  • wlarryhop@juno.com

    Merle sounds like a real jerk!!

  • Roberta Stacy

    Please make this documentary available on DVD. PLEASE!

  • H Harman

    Apparently there is quite a demand for this on DVD like many of your other productions, so

    WHO IS PREVENTING THIS FROM BEING AVAILABLE ON DVD? WHY?

  • dave

    This was a great documentary. It needs to be on DVD. Made me cry at the end when “roses in winter” came on and we got to see inside Merle family. Long live Merle Haggard!

  • Mike D

    Thank you Merle Haggard! For all the songs of the South San Joaquin Valley in California,live in Cordell,Oklahoma now but can easily return with your songs about the Kern River-South San Joaquin-Bakersfield-Tulare-Modesto.Thanks!!

  • Amy

    Has this been released yet to purchase??? Would love to buy this DVD.

  • Barbara Mahanay

    I had the great pleasure to see Merle twice, in concert. He is truly a one of the best Country Music Artists of all time.

    I hope he can beat his Cancer and continue to be with his family for a long time, and be able to continue his career.

    This was a very wonderful, documentary . I too would like very much to buy a DVD copy.

  • Nick

    I’m a mega Merle fan but live in Australia so can’t watch this online and can’t get it on DVD. I can’t even find a pirated version to download! I’m happy to pay for it but I don’t know how to go about seeing this well-reputed film featuring a hero of mine. Please help!

Salinger

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