Merle Haggard Working on Four New Albums at Age 77

Country legend shuns the idea of retirement and talks about “too much boogie boogie wham-bam” on country radio.

At 77 years old, Merle Haggard is still the running kind — running from show to show at an age when most men might happily stick closer to home. The Country Music Hall of Famer, who plays Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium this week and is also doing press for a Buddy Holly tribute album to which he has contributed, is five decades into his storied career, with hundreds of legendary songs to chose from to perform. The poet of the common man, responsible for such classics as “Workin’ Man Blues,” Okie From Muskogee” and “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” remains just as dedicated to performing, too.

“If I ever retired, I wouldn’t be doing much,” he tells Raleigh, North Carolina’s News & Observer. “I’ve just been off for six weeks and I was about bored to death. I’ve fished all my life and I play golf, but that don’t substitute for the road and playing shows and the high points of all we’ve accomplished in 50 years.”

A prolific tunesmith, Haggard has no shortage of project for which he’s penning new songs. In fact, he has enough material for four different albums, which he reports are in the works right now.


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