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Remembering Merle Haggard One Year After His Death

Today, we remember Merle Haggard: today marks a year since he died on his 79th birthday at his home in California due to complications from pneumonia.

His fantastic discography, spanning over six decades, includes many of country music’s greatest hits. Writing many from the perspective of the working class people, Haggard’s music resonated so easily with those going through tough times.

With 38 #1 country hits under his belt, Haggard started playing guitar at age 11, two years after the death of his father. Turning to music to escape his school and criminal troubles, it was a run-in with country star Lefty Frizzell that really catapulted his love for performing. Haggard snuck his way backstage and sang one of Frizzell’s song to him. Lefty insisted Merle hit the stage before him, and Haggard fell in love with being in front of a crowd.

It wasn’t smooth sailing–Haggard was sentenced to five years in prison after attempting to rob a cafe with a friend. Johnny Cash visited the prison to perform, and that pushed Haggard to pursue music full-time when he was released early in 1960.

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Muddy Waters

Watch: Muddy Waters Perform With The Rolling Stones

Today marks 104 years since Muddy Waters was born.

We’re celebrating the blues legend’s incredible legacy by looking back at an amazing performance with The Rolling Stones.

Here’s what went down:

On 22 November 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon. Long influenced by the Chicago blues, the band paid a visit to Buddy Guy’s club the Checkerboard Lounge to see the legendary bluesman perform. It didn’t take long before Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart were joining in on stage and later Buddy Guy and Lefty Dizz also played their part. It was a unique occasion that was fortunately captured on camera. Now, restored from the original footage and with sound mixed and mastered by Bob Clearmountain, this amazing blues night is being made available in an official release for the first time.

Watch a few clips below:

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Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan To Finally Accept Nobel Literature Prize

At first it seemed that pigs would fly before Bob Dylan would accept his Nobel Peace Prize, but now, CNN reports he’ll receive his prize in person.

The Swedish Academy has reached an agreement to give Dylan the Literature award after initially being unable to get in touch with the singer and have his seat empty at the ceremony.

Fast forward five months, and the singer will accept the diploma and medal while he is in Sweden for two concerts this weekend.

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telephone

Top 20 Telephone Anthems

The telephone was patented this week in 1876 by none other than Canadian innovator Alexander Graham Bell.

Thanks to this nifty little invention, music fans have been able to do so much more. Things like calling our loved ones about new records being released, order concert tickets remotely, and even take our music on-the-go with us… it’s been an incredible 141 years since!

Bell’s contribution to society has also affected the way musicians write songs: once distant lovers can now be reached on a whim (or they can ignore voicemails much easier…)

Even as phones have become smaller, more portable, and closer to our hip than ever, it still continues to be a focal point in many lyrics.

Phones have inspired many countless hits, and we’re counting down our Top 20 landline anthems!

Blondie – Call Me

Todd Rundgren – Hello It’s Me

The Beatles – Hello, Goodbye

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Cash

Johnny Cash In 20 Songs

Even 14 years after his death, the loss of Johnny Cash doesn’t get any easier.

The famed country singer died on Sept. 12, 2003 due to complications from diabetes at 71 years old. Cash’s death came less than four months after his wife June Carter Cash’s passing. Close friends believe his health worsened with a broken heart. He was buried next to June in Hendersonville Memory Gardens, close to his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Today marks Cash’s birthday–he was born 85 years ago in Kingsland, Arkansas. We’re honouring the legend with a look at 20 essential songs from the superstar.

20. “Ballad Of A Teenage Queen”

19. “No Need To Worry”

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