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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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Shania Twain

The Evolution of Shania Twain

Shania Twain‘s achievements, not only in the country music world, but by all measures, are astounding.

The singer, originally from Timmins, Ontario, Canada, has sold 85 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling female country artist.

Among her impressive feats include:

  • Five Grammy Awards, 27 BMI Songwriter awards, stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
  • The only female artist in history to have three consecutive albums certified Diamond by the RIAA.
  • Bizarrely was found to have a “perfect face” according to a study by the University of Toronto
  • We’re diving into Shania’s musical catalogue and taking a look at her four studio albums:


    Shania1

    Shania Twain (1993)

    Shania Twain’s debut album was not a hit right out the gate, but her later success would bring attention to earlier work. Eventually, her self-titled project (a collection of covers) would go on to hit Platinum certification in the United States and 2x Platinum in Canada.

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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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    George Jones

    A Man Of 150 Hits: The Genius Of George Jones

    George Jones‘ name does not get thrown around when music legends are brought up, but his track record shows he flew under the radar when it comes to chart-topping success.

    Perhaps it is because he fully immersed himself in the country genre, but his influence outside

    Over his career, George notched 150 hits as a soloist and in duets.

    Country music scholar Bill C. Malone writes, “For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.”

    Working with a diverse range of artists like Keith Richards, Alan Jackson, Harry Connick Jr., Merle Haggard and more, Jones constantly challenged himself to outdo previous efforts and build on his success.

    Jones struggled with alcoholism and would frequently miss concerts, earning him the nickname “No Show Jones.” Regardless of personal problems he was facing, he churned out charting songs from 1954 to 2002.

    He died on April 26, 2013, from hypoxic respiratory failure at the age of 81. Jones’ legacy in the country music world will never be matched.

    Here are a handful of his big hits:

    “White Lightning”

    “She Thinks I Still Care”

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    johnny cash

    Johnny Cash Meets Johnny Depp In Pirates of the Caribbean Trailer

    A momentous late entry in the recording career of a country music giant is featured throughout the new trailer for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The clip for the fifth entry in the film series aired during the 2017 Super Bowl on Sunday (5 February) and plays to the soundtrack of Johnny Cash‘s ‘Ain’t No Grave.’

    American VIThe traditional song was the opening track on the Man In Black’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave album, released posthumously in 2010 and recorded in the last few months of his life in 2003. The album debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and also reached the top ten around much of Europe and in Canada. 

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