Legendary country and western performer Merle Haggard has died today, his 79th birthday.
The iconic guitarist / singer / fiddler / songwriter passed away at his home in Redding, CA after a prolonged struggle with double pneumonia.
A child of the Great Depression, Haggard has a long and storied career. He rose to prominence in the 1960’s and kept going strong until today. He’s credited with helping to create the “Bakersfield sound,” a rough mix of twangy Telecaster with steel guitar and lyrically minimalist vocal harmony. He was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.