MUSIC LEGEND MERLE HAGGARD SINGS WOODY GUTHRIE’S “JESUS CHRIST” OVER CLOSING CREDITS OF MICHAEL MOORE’S ‘CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY’
When Michael Moore’s new documentary Capitalism: A Love Story opens nationwide this Friday (October 2), it will be country music legend MERLE HAGGARD that audiences hear closing out the film. MERLE said, “I was proud to sing Woody Guthrie’s ‘Jesus Christ,’” over Capitalism’s end credits.
As author and singer of “Workin’ Man Blues” – and oft-dubbed “The Poet of the Common Man” – it’s only fitting that MERLE would play a part in Moore’s paean to the plight of regular Americans in an economy ruled by big business. Equally fitting is that MERLE, tagged on the cover of Rolling Stone as a “Badass Legend,” and described in a lengthy profile in the October 1 issue as “a rebel icon and folk hero, an inheritor of the traditions of Woody Guthrie,” would revisit one of Guthrie’s protest songs.
A Golden Lion nominee and winner of both the Little Golden Lion and the Open Prize at the 2009 Venice Film Festival, Capitalism: A Love Story opened in New York and Los Angeles on September 23 to box office success and critical praise. Calling it “a genuine and welcome rabble rouser,” Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers says, “Moore’s fireball of a movie could change your life. It had me laughing with tears in my eyes.” Elsewhere, Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman calls the film “a searing outcry against the excesses of a cutthroat time,” and Claudia Puig of USA Today calls it “impassioned, informative, and entertaining,” adding that “Moore makes his case with humor, humanity, and outrageous scenarios.” Capitalism: A Love Story hits theaters across America on October 2.
MERLE appears in the current issue of Rolling Stone in a career-defining piece written by Jason Fine. This in-depth look at an American icon has hit a nerve with the public: not only is everyone from John Fogerty to Dog The Bounty Hunter twittering about MERLE, but the magazine has also received overwhelmingly positive responses via old fashioned handwritten letters, email and web comments.
Meanwhile, MERLE was recently honored with the Poet’s Award at the Academy of Country Music’s ACM Honors on September 22 in Nashville – and played a sold-out gig at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium that same night.