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Archive for the ‘Merle Haggard’ Category

Sturgill Simpson Slams ACM

Sturghill Simpson

Tomorrow night, Miranda Lambert will be awarded the first ever Merle Haggard Spirit Award by the Academy of Country Music at the ACM Honors, and the honor has sparked some harsh words for the industry from singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson. He didn’t hold back on Facebook with a strongly worded post about the use of Merle’s name and legacy.

Many years back, much like Willie and Waylon had years before, Merle Haggard said,
“Fuck this town. I’m moving.” and he left Nashville.
According to my sources, it was right after a record executive told him that “Kern River” was a bad song. In the last chapter of his career and his life, Nashville wouldn’t call, play, or touch him. He felt forgotten and tossed aside. I always got a sense that he wanted one last hit..one last proper victory lap of his own, and we all know deserved it. Yet it never came. And now he’s gone.

Im writing this because I want to go on record and say I find it utterly disgusting the way everybody on Music Row is coming up with any reason they can to hitch their wagon to his name while knowing full and damn well what he thought about them. If the ACM wants to actually celebrate the legacy and music of Merle Haggard, they should drop all the formulaic cannon fodder bullshit they’ve been pumping down rural America’s throat for the last 30 years along with all the high school pageantry, meat parade award show bullshit and start dedicating their programs to more actual Country Music.

While Im venting about the unjust treatment of a bonafide American music legend, I should also add, if for no other reasons than sheer principal and to get the taste I’ve been choking back for months now out of my mouth, that Merle was supposed to be on the cover of Garden & Gun magazine’s big Country Music issue (along with myself) a few months back.
They reached out to both of us in October of last year while I was on a west coast tour. Merle was home off the road so I took a day off and traveled up to Redding.
He was so excited about it and it goes without saying that I was completely beside myself along with my Grandfather who has always been a HUGE Merle fan. We spent the whole day of the interview visiting in his living room with our families and had a wonderful conversation with the journalist. Then we spent about two hours outside being photographed by a brilliant and highly respected photographer named David McClister until Merle had enough…he was still recovering from a recent bout of double pneumonia at the time and it was a bit cold that day on the ranch.
But then at the last minute, the magazine’s editor put Chris Stapleton on the cover without telling anyone until they had already gone to print. Don’t get me wrong, Chris had a great year and deserves a million magazine covers…but thats not the point.
Its about keeping your word and ethics.
Chris also knows this as he called me personally to express his disgust at the situation. Dude’s a class act.
The editor later claimed in a completely bullshit email apology to both Merle’s publicist and ours (Chris and I share the same publicist) that they didn’t get any good shots that day.
David McClister..
2 hour shoot..
no good photos..
OK buddy,..whatever you say.
Anyway, Merle passed away right after it came out.

Some days, this town and this industry have a way of making we wish I could just go sit on Mars and build glass clocks.

Sturgill

What do you think of his remarks? I have to say that’s how this whole place works. We love you. We hate you. You’re not good enough. You’re amazing!

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Academy of Country Music Announces ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award

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The Academy of Country Music® (ACM) announced yesterday the inception of the ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award. Approved by the ACM Special Awards Panel and voted on by the ACM Board, this new award will honor uncompromising artists in the spirit of Merle Haggard, while acknowledging a man who has figured prominently in ACM history. The Academy will bestow the inaugural ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award at the 10th Annual ACM Honors™ to a recipient still to be announced. Hosted by multi-ACM Award-winning group Lady Antebellum, the 10th ACM Honors will tape on Tuesday, August 30 at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, and make its television debut on Friday, September 9 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

One of the leading voices of “California Country” and the Bakersfield Sound, Merle Haggard was an early supporter of the Los Angeles-based ACM and its first Entertainer of the Year in 1970. That honor also made him the Academy’s first Triple Crown recipient, having been awarded Male Vocalist of the Year in 1966 and Most Promising Male Vocalist in 1965. Overall, he is a 20-time ACM honoree and was bestowed with the ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award and the Poet’s Award.

“Merle passed shortly after our 2016 awards show and after this year’s Special Awards were announced,” says ACM Board President Ken Tucker. “That said, there was simply no way the Academy could hold what may be its most heartfelt event – ACM Honors – without creating a lasting way to acknowledge his legacy. Celebrating and encouraging artists whose work echoes Merle Haggard’s indomitable spirit is beyond fitting. On behalf of the board, and with the blessing of his family, we are thrilled to create this important honor.”

Kacey Musgraves to Perform at G Fest in Honor of Merle Haggard

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As previously announced, G Fest organizers are continuing plans for the inaugural event in honor of the late Okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard. The festival, which features some of the biggest names in Country, Rock and Americana, along with the best up-and-coming and local talent, will take place as scheduled June 16-18 in Muskogee, Okla. Additionally, GRAMMY-award winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves will perform at the festival to celebrate one of her heroes.

“Artists like Merle Haggard are important because they became legends and set trends not by worrying about money and fame but just by being themselves. So it just inspires me even more to uphold what’s important to me as a person and songwriter first and not worry about the rest,” said Musgraves.

The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has been given the green light to place a Merle Haggard monument on the north lawn of the Muskogee Civic Center, a step forward for a project about five years in the making. The memorial, as originally envisioned, would include a bronze sculpture of Haggard sitting on a bench with a guitar case and hat. It would be placed where visitors can take photos of “Old Glory down at the courthouse” and the Civic Center, where Haggard recorded the album Okie from Muskogee. OMHOF Executive Director Jim Blair believes an opportunity exists that would expand the scope of the memorial and add a monument Haggard designed and asked a Ponca City artist, Dan Jones, to create. Haggard planned to have the piece placed at his ranch near Bakersfield, Calif.

“They want to see that placed in Muskogee,” Blair said about those who are part of Haggard’s organization. “The bench will be great, but what a story to tell — to have a memorial standing next to it that was designed by Merle himself.”

In addition to the monument, organizers plan on revealing the “Merle Haggard Avenue” street sign in the coming months.

Single-day tickets to G Fest are now available, with Thursday available for $39, Friday for $49 and Saturday for $59 until May 15. General Admission three-day passes are available for $109, and VIP Reserved Seating and VIP Party Pit tickets for $329 until May 15. VIP Reserved Seating and VIP Party Pit gives ticket holders access to an exclusive area directly in front of the stage, parking, designated bathrooms and a separate bar. For fans wanting the true G Fest experience, primitive camping is available starting at $90 and RV camping starting at $375.

Festival organizers are giving ticket holders the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see their favorite stars up-close-and-personal with the Party Pit. Located directly in front of the main stage, the Party Pit puts fans steps away from their favorite artists during their performances! There are a very limited number of passes in this standing-room-only area, and passes must be purchased in addition to three-day or VIP tickets. Prices vary by artist and start at $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, party pit passes and for all of your G Fest needs, visit: gfestmuskogee.com.

G Fest will take place June 16-18 in Muskogee, Okla., and will feature performances by The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Swon Brothers, Marty Stuart, Turnpike Troubadours, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, John Fullbright, Paul Thorn Band, Byron Berline Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Quebe Sisters, Uncle Lucius, Aubrie Sellers, Ricochet, Full Flava Kings, Paul Benjaman Band with Don White, Nicnos, The Cherokee Maidens, KALo, Darell Christopher & The Ingredients, The Bonham Brothers, The Red Dirt Rangers, Mountain Smoke, Hosty Duo, Desi & Cody, Carter Sampson, Brujo Roots, BC and The Big Rig, Jana Jae and Head for the Hills.

Want to take advantage of our current pricing but don’t have the cash? Choose the EZ-Pay Plan at check out to split your payment up. Use it to purchase tickets, camping or add-on options.
You will be billed monthly until the balance is paid in full. Your tickets will then be emailed to you.

G Fest is funded through a joint effort by The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, The City of Muskogee, City of Muskogee Foundation and Muskogee Tourism. Net proceeds of the event will be used to further the mission of the OMHOF and further develop the infrastructure of the Hatbox complex for future festivals.

To stay up-to-date on all things G Fest, like us on Facebook and follow @gfestmuskogee on Twitter and Instagram.

Vince Gill Plays Touching Tribute to Merle Haggard at Opry

Last week, Vince Gill performed a touching tribute to the late Merle Haggard at the Grand Ole Opry. Take a listen and tell us what you think of “A World Without Haggard.”

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