Merle Haggard Interview at Country Star Central
This week at CSC music legend Merle Haggard chats with Country Star Central about his remarkable career, childhood memories of his musical background, secret crush on Dolly Parton, what accomplishments mean the most to him and MUCH MORE!
Below are is an excerpt of the interview, to see the full interview got to Country Star Central website!
(CSC) 1. (What an honor to speak with you!) You’re ready to hit the road once again. What are you most looking forward to about performing with your band & how have you been?
Well you know I had a little bout last year with the Cancer thing. I got that out and didn’t have to do any chemo thankfully. I guess I dodged a bullet you might say. I got back on the road with a full crew, full force and I am enjoying it more than ever!
(CSC) 2. I understand your wife and your sons are in your band as well, right?
My wife Theresa sings the tenor with me and my son plays guitar. I’m pretty fortunate to have that happen for me.
(CSC) 3. I think its fitting to say that the “Last of the Breed” tour you took part in with pals Ray Price and Willie Nelson pretty much sums up the current state of country music today. What are your thoughts on the music business?
Well it’s like everything else you know, it’s pretty slow right now and it’s strange what there is of it that is left it has been making some real changes over the last few years.
(CSC) 4. Growing up in Southern California, what first attracted you to country music, and who were some of the artists at that time that inspired your early musical style?
I grew up in Bakersfield, in Oildale, an adjacent city which was quite a bit like Texas in as much as we had oil and we had country music. It was more of a bar room brand and maybe the east of the river type. I was lucky to be in the kind of area that supported that kind of music they had when television first came on the air in 1953. There was quite a bit of music in Bakersfield. I was young and able to take advantage of what was performing there.
(CSC) 5. Who were some of the artists that you enjoyed listening to back then?
Bob Wills was real big at the time in California, Texas, and Oklahoma; let’s just say the western half of the United States. (Laughs) I was very much influenced by him and his music. Also Lefty Frizzell was a big artist, and Hank Williams were a few of the other ones I enjoyed. Then doing shows at the bars we had to do a lot of rock and roll. We had to perform a lot of Chuck Berry, a lot of Elvis, and Ricky Nelson; people like that.
(CSC) 6. Life’s thrown you many curves along the road to stardom both in your personal and professional life, what do you attribute to overcoming them?
Well I guess it was like I attributed to most of the things that I just mentioned. It’s where I got my start. Then also going down to Capitol records in Los Angeles and getting on a label and having the thing go nationwide or international actually. One thing led to another and I got inducted into the Hall of Fame. Over the years I had four of a hundred songs in the top ten billboards. I’ve had a wonderful career to say the least; and it’s not over yet!
(CSC) 7. You wrote a song about a very well-known superstar in country music. Tell me about “Always Wanting You.” Had you hoped to make those feelings known to that individual?
Yeah, with that song, Dolly and I was screen boarding each other. We were writing songs back and forth. She can’t associate with me right now because she’s got those “reasons.” (Laughs) She’s too busy satisfying the movie industry. Dolly is a good person, a good human being. I’ve know her since she was about twenty years old. I especially like her husband Carl.
(CSC) 8. You ought to record a duet with her one day!
Oh I‘d like to record with Carl! (Laughs)
(CSC) 9. You were an essential part of the “Outlaw” movement in country music. Do you feel that you were ever accepted by Nashville?
Actually, Nashville has been very nice to me. But that’s not really the way they’ve been to a lot of west coast artists through the years. They’ve come to appreciate my music, I guess, over the years. Regardless of the fact that I didn’t live there, they were kind to me when it came time for the awards each year.
To read more of the interview got to Country Star Central website!