OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE
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This page was last updated on: December 30, 2012
"TheHag"
MERLE HAGGARD'S PARENTS MIGRATED  FROM  THE  OKLAHOMA DUST
BOWL BEFORE HE WAS BORN.  THEY LIVED IN A CONVERTED BOXCAR IN BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA WHERE HE WAS BORN ON APRIL 6, 1937. 
WHEN MERLE WAS 9 YEARS-OLD, HIS FATHER DIED LEAVING HIM,
HIS SIBLINGS, AND HIS MOTHER TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES.

HE SPENT HIS TEENAGED YEARS IN JUVENILE JAILS.  BY THE TIME MERLE HAGGARD WAS 21 YEAR-OLD, HE WAS AN INMATE IN SAN QUENTIN PRISON.

JOHNNY CASH MET MERLE HAGGARD IN SAN QUENTIN.  CASH AND HIS BAND
WAS ENTERTAINING WITH A LIVE CONCERT IN THE PRISON.  HAGGARD
WAS AN INMATE.      (SEE "STRIPES" IN THE JOHNNY CASH SECTION). 
AFTER THE CONCERT, HAGGARD TALKED TO CASH.  JOHNNY CASH ENCOURAGED MERLE HAGGARD TO BE A SONG WRITER. 

HAGGARD BECAME  A MODEL PRISONER.  HE LEFT THE PENITENTUARY WITH
A CLEAN RECORD.  HE WAS NOT A "REPEATER."  TWELVE YEARS AFTER HIS RELEASE, GOVERNOR RONALD REAGAN GRANTED A FULL PARDON TO
MERLE HAGGARD.  THAT WAS 1972.

MERLE HAGGARD WROTE  MANY OUTSTANDING SONGS WHICH INCLUDED LYRICS AND MUSIC.  GEORGE JONES AND WILLIE NELSON
RECORDED HAGGARD MUSIC FOR YEARS.

1963 SAW HAGGARD'S FIRST RECORD TO BREAK THE TOP 20 CHARTS:
"SING A SAD SONG."  OTHERS THAT FOLLOWED WERE  "I THREW AWAY
A ROSE,"  "THE BOTTLE LET ME DOWN,"  "THE STREETS OF BAKERSFIELD." 

IN 1969, MERLE HAGGARD'S MUSIC HIT THE TOP 10 AND STAYED THERE FOR WEEKS!  HE WROTE AND RECORDED HIS SONG, "AN OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE."

MERLE HAGGARD SAID THAT HE  HAD ACHIEVED A GOOD LIFE IN LATER YEARS AND WAS VERY HAPPY WTH HIS CURRENT WIFE .  THEY HAVE A SMALL CHILD THAT KEEPS HIM YOUNG.  "I WALK IN  NO MAN'S SHADOW."
Muskogee Azalea City Park
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DLS   5-24-2000
Okie From Muskogee

We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
And we don't take our trips on LSD.
We don't burn no draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin' right, and bein' free.

We don't make no party out of lovin';
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo;
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy,
like the hippies out in San Francisco do.

And I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball.
We still wave 'Old Glory' down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all.

Hey, leather boots are still in style for manly footwear;
Beads and Roman sandals won't be seen.
And football's still the roughest thing on campus,
And the kids there still respect the college dean.

And I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee,
A place where even squares can have a ball.
We still wave 'Old Glory' down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all.

And white lightnin's still the biggest thrill of all,
In Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA.