Merle Haggard

Recent Posts

Web-based radio a new outlet for musician’s passion


RED LODGE — There was never much question that Jimmy Kujala’s life would revolve around music. The native of Red Lodge played his first professional gig, at the Snag Bar, when he was 9. He and one of his sisters, Carolyn, started a band, The Lost Generation, a few years later. Kujala was only 15 or 16 when the band opened for Merle Haggard at the Shrine Auditorium in Billings in the late 1960s.  (more…) Continue Reading →

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In honor of the late Merle Haggard, 2 reading suggestions


Merle Haggard, one of the best songwriters and the owner of one of the most distinctive voices in the history of country music, died Wednesday, on his 79th birthday. You don’t need me to tell you of Merle’s life and legacy. You’re on the Internet, with Google at your fingertips. But allow me to recommend two superb pieces about Merle, one quite short and one very long. The short one was published two years ago by the Wall Street Journal, as part of its occasional “Anatomy of a Song” series. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Let’s not allow yahoos to redefine ‘dive bar’


When I lived in Anaconda, Red’s was a good dive bar. Strong drinks, cheap beer and a pool table in the middle of the main room. The jukebox had more than a few Merle Haggard songs. The bartenders may have been too kind, though. They’d give you a free shot of Jack Daniels with every other beer. Continue Reading →

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