The country musician has collaborated with Willlie Nelson, George Jones and Conway Twitty.
By Karen Cotton
All it takes is a glance at Merle Haggard’s extensive discography that dates back to 1965 to figure out why he’s a country legend.
A few of his 40 number one hits include: “Branded Man,” “Mama Tried,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “Workin’ Man Blues,” “My Favorite Memory,” “Fugitive,” “Fightin’ Side of Me” and “Legend of Bonnie and Clyde.”
Today at 10 a.m., you can buy tickets to see this country icon live at the Cheyenne Civic Center on Feb. 10.
Haggard’s friends and collaborators have ranged from Willie Nelson to George Jones and Conway Twitty – just to name a few.
Late last year, Haggard was dealing with lung cancer and had a lemon-sized tumor removed from his right lung.
According to his Web site, doctors removed the upper lobe of his right lung, and Haggard said he does not require any radiation or chemotherapy. He now has a clean bill of health and is touring harder in 2009 than he ever has before.
Dru Rohla, the director of the Cheyenne Civic Center, said Haggard’s management approached him about a possible February performance in Cheyenne.
“It’s an opportunity to bring back a country Western legend to Cheyenne,” Rohla said. “The last time he played here at the Cheyenne Civic Center was in July of 2000, and the show went very well.”
Rohla said the 2000 show gave viewers the opportunity to witness someone who had been perfecting his craft for several decades.
“It’s an experience to witness an entertainer who has that ability to project his music that is basically timeless,” Rohla said.
Initially, he thought the 2000 show would only draw an older audience.
He was wrong.
“The people who bought tickets were younger,” he said.
On Thursday, a 23-year-old gentleman and Haggard fan called the Cheyenne Civic Center asking about tickets, Rohla said.
“He said he’s his favorite country singer of all time,” Rohla said. “That’s the great thing with Merle Haggard. He can span that generation gap.”
Haggard’s bio says that he’s considered one of the greatest influences in country music.
Haggard has charted a multitude of Top Ten songs and has won just about every music award that is possible for a performer and a songwriter.
He received the great honor in 1994 of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“In the Country Western music industry, there are few legendary, icon status performers left,” Rohla said. “There’s Merle along with Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Charlie Pride, in a short list of Country Western legends that are still performing.”
Tickets for the country legend’s show at the Civic Center go on sale at 10 a.m. today
When: Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Cheyenne Civic Center, 510 W. 20th St.
More info: 637-6363, www.cheyenneciviccenter.org
Merle Haggard in Casper
When: Feb. 11, 7:30 pm
Where: Casper Events Center, Number One Events Drive, Casper
More info: Tickets to this event also go on sale today at 10 a.m. 307- 577-3030, 800-442-2256 or www.caspereventscenter.com.
Story from the Wyoming Tribune – Cheyenne,WY,USA, WyomingNews.com