Haggard, Merle (Ronald )
- Peter LaChapelle
(b Bakersfield, CA, April 6, 1937). American country singer-songwriter. The son of farmers who fled Oklahoma for California during the Depression, Haggard has produced chart-topping and critically acclaimed songs for more than four decades. At the time of Haggard’s birth, the family lived in a converted railroad car just outside Bakersfield. His father, by then a railroad yardman, died of a stroke before Haggard reached ten. His mother, a bookkeeper, raised Merle and two siblings on her own. As a teenager, he ran away from home and had run-ins with the law. As his hit song “Mama Tried” (Capitol, ...