Tag Archives: Woody Guthrie

Issue 377 – Time Changes Pert Near Everything

Logo -- The Paregien Journal -- 2018--01--18 -- 800 X 195 pix X 400 dpi

Issue 377          Sept. 29, 2018           An Occasional Blog  

Time Changes Pert Near Everything

The great western crooner, Tommy Duncan, sang a song during the 1940s titled “Time Changes Everything.” It is a ballad about lost love, that he thought she would always love him. But over time, that changed. Then he thought he would never get over, but . . . shazam . . . time changed that. Finally, he wishes her well as he rides off in the sunset with his new love. Change, change, change.

Well, there’s a lot of truth in that ol’ Bob Wills western swing ballad.  But to state it a little more accurately and in the words of my unhousebroken cousin Bubba, “Time changes pert near everything.”

For example, you graduate from high school and your class fractures into minute pieces. Some kids go off to college or off to the military or off elsewhere for a job  . . . and a few just, well, go off. One day you realize not even Humpty Dumpty can’t put those pieces back together. 

Or you reach that mid-life crisis point where you must face up to the fact that you’re never going to be President of the United States. Heck, you’re not even going to be a leader in your Lions Club or your church. Last week you got a letter confirming your rich uncle left you his favorite poodle, but nothing else. And chances are high you aren’t going to see your own children reach any high level of success. And you’ve just about concluded you just ain’t very good lookin’ no mo. 

Shoot-fire, y’all, it gets worse. You become a senior citizen somewhere about 60 or 65. That’s when you notice the wheels starting to fall off your wagon, and you never were very mechanically inclined. You sorta think you’re a cut above most old folks, . . . until you count the number of prescription pills you take each day. And you tally up the aches and pains and dysfunctional parts of your anatomy and realize that if a part of you doesn’t hurt, it is probably not working.

Yep, time changes . . . pert near every aspect of our lives.

That’s what I’m talking about, friends, the changes that will not be ignored. They trip us on our way to the bathroom and slap us up side of the head to get our attention.

Okay, fellow travelers, I freely confess I kinda feel like I have the Elephant-of-Change sitting on my chest. Maybe if I scratch its back that Dumbo will go squat somewhere else, but he is probably like my nutty brother-in-law, Alex. He will be back much more often than I’d like.

CHANGE 1

Well, here is the first of several changes I am making: I will no longer give public performances of my storytelling (i.e., cowboy poetry, stories, songs and guitar playing). That tough decision comes after having had a heap of fun doing those things since about 1991 — about 27 years worth. In that regard, here is a poem I performed on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 during my very last session at the National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration in Lubbock, Texas. I call this poem, my 488th, “On Hitting a Wall at 77.”

Poem 488 - On Hitting a Wall at 77 - by Stan Paregien - July 20, 2018 Page 1 of 2

Poem 488 - On Hitting a Wall at 77 - by Stan Paregien - July 20, 2018 Page 2 of 2

2018--09--06 01 Lubbock, TX - National Cowboy Symposium

 

2018--09--06 05 Lubbock, TX - National Cowboy Symposium2018--09--06 06 Lubbock, TX - National Cowboy Symposium

2018--09--07 05 Lubbock, TX - - National Cowboy Symp - LeRoy & Sandra Jones - by Stan Paregien

2018--09--07 09 Lubbock, TX - - NCS - Stan & Peggy Paregien with Sandra & LeRoy Jones

2018--09--07 13 Lubbock, TX - - NCS - Janice Deardorff performing - by Stan Paregien

2018--09--08 02--C Lubbock, TX - - NCS - Stan Paregien - by Peggy Paregien

2018--09--08 02--E Lubbock, TX - - NCS - Robert Beene - by Peggy Paregien

2018--09--08 03 Lubbock, TX - - NCS - Joel Nelson - by Stan Paregien

2018--09--08 05 Lubbock, TX - - NCS - Chris Isaacs - by Stan Paregien

2018--09--08 06 Lubbock, TX - - NCS - Pipp Gillette - by Stan Paregien

2018--09--09 03 Lubbock, TX - - Stan Paregien & Perry Williams - by Peggy Paregien

2018--09--09 08 Lubbock, TX - - National Cowboy Symposium

CHANGE 2

My second change is this: I’m am saying adios and farewell to all my social media.

Yes, Virginia, ’tis true. I shut down — i.e., deleted — my Facebook account just last week. Oh, yeah, I’ll miss seeing some photos of our kids and grandkids and great-grandkids that somehow never get seen to us in any other way. And I’ll miss that good clean joke which crossed my screen every once in a while, but life goes on. And so do I.

Oh, I guess I should mention those somewhere over 300 folks who friended me on Facebook. Some of those folks are really good friends, with a few of them dating back from six or more decades ago. Those I’ll miss a bunch, but . . . I still have a telephone (yes, a smarter-than-me phone and a land-line) and the U.S. Post Office still delivers to my mailbox (though 90 % of which I get is non-personal) . . . so I can be reached. Now I admit to being blissfully unaware of just how 40 or so of my “Friends” on Facebook had any real connection with me. Too much drama. Too much trivia. Just . . . way too much.

CHANGES THAT REALLY HURT

Part of the big changes I’m seeing in my life have to do with the passing of close friends and relatives . . . and the demise of so many people who, though not close friends, were folks I knew at one time or have corresponded with for a while or  people for whom I had a long-distance and long-standing admiration.

In this blog I just want to mention some of our friends we always saw at the National Cowboy Symposium and elsewhere, but who have crossed over that Big Divide. Here is just part of that list:

**********  DUSTY & PAT RICHARDS

 

 

The first time I met Ronald Lee (“Dusty”) Richards was in 1984 in Branson, Missouri. A few weeks earlier I had met Jory Sherman at a writers convention in Oklahoma City. It was Jory who told me all about the great folks in the Western Writers of America and about that year’s convention in a short time in Branson. At his urging, I traveled there alone and walked into the host hotel’s lobby. There an elderly man looked at my cowboy hat, walked over to me and introduced himself to me. It was none other than Thomas (“Tommy”) Thompson, the author of numerous Western articles and novels and movie and TV scripts. 

A short time later I met a fledgling writer from Springdale named Dusty Richards, and we hit it off right away. Between the WWA, other writer conventions and the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock,  Peggy and I saw Dusty and Pat many, many times over the years. He was a “late bloomer” who did not have his first book published until 1992, when he was 55 years old. But, golly Bill, he caught on fire there. He wrote some 150 western novels, many under various publishing “house names.” One of those novels, The Mustanger & the Lady, was made into a movie with the title, “Painted Woman.”

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Paul Patterson was the high school literature teacher who became a mentor out in West Texas to none other than the late, great Western novelist Elmer Kelton. 

2002-051-- Lubbock, TX -- Pat and Dusty Richards - National Cowboy Symposium

Those times are now behind us, wonderful memories we will cherish. Dusty and Pat Richards were in a horrific car accident in December of 2017. They were hospitalized in critical condition. Pat died from her injuries on Jan. 11, 2018 and Dusty left this life one week later on Jan. 18, 2018. He was 80 years old.

Dusty and Pat loved their adopted home state of Arkansas, as well as Arizona and the great Southwest. A writer for the family posted this on Dusty’s Facebook page:

“What can we say about Dusty? The real question is what can’t we say about him? To say that he was larger than life is the grandest of understatements. He was an irresistible force and an unmovable object all rolled into one, a personality wider than the western skies he wrote about. He was an eternal optimist, a man who woke up each and every day renewed and ready for the next job, the next challenge, the next good fight. He was a father, a patriarch, a mentor of the first order.

“He toured the  country teaching and encouraging new and experienced writers alike, challenging them to follow his lead, tell the next inspiring story, pen the next Great American Novel. He was a fighter, a lover, a joker, an entrepreneur, a canny businessman, a television and radio personality, a famous rodeo announcer, a cowboy, and, perhaps above all else, a master storyteller. Dusty was everything that fit under his trademark ten-gallon hat and so much more, and we could keep writing for a year and not do him justice.”

**********  HENRY TORRES

Torres, Henry - died at age 80 in a hospital in Rio Rancho, NM

**  Henry Torres, a rancher and historian and cowboy poet, died on April 6, 2018 at the age of 80. He was born to Hispanic parents on Nov. 7, 1937. He grew up in that farming and ranching family, with most of his time spent on ranches in New Mexico — from Deming to Las Cruces and up to Silver City.  He had two beloved sisters, Beatrice and Elsie, where were some older than he. Henry joined the U.S. Navy right after graduating from high school, but came back in 1960 to again work for and with his father. 

This cowpoke went above his learnin’ and married Carolyn Shores in 1971. Henry spent much of his adult career ranching on the side and working as a Brand Inspector for the New Mexico Livestock Board. He retired as the Supervisor in Silver City in 1996. A few years before his retirement, he got interested in writing and publically performing cowboy poetry. He was of the founders and supporters of the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum in Las Cruces, NM. And he was the primary force behind the creation of their annual “Cowboy Days” celebration.

In 2002, Henry Torres felt very blessed when he received an “American Cowboy Culture” award at the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Texas. In 2016, he was recognized in a ceremony at the Las Cruces New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum for his many years of service to the industry and to the museum. In 2011, Carolyn Torres was seriously sick and wanted to move to Nevada to spend her last days close to their children and grandchildren, and they left their beloved New Mexico. She died in 2014, so Henry moved back to Silver City. He lived and died as a man of his word, a cowboy to the bone.

**********  GUY W. LOGSDON

Peggy and I first met Guy Logsdon in about 1990 at the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Texas. He had a both at the convention center where he sold new and used and collectable books. When he went back to Tulsa and started “The Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry Gathering” at the National Western Museum & Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. He was kind enough to invite me to perform there several times. Now he is gone.

 Guy William Logsdon was born on May 31, 1934 in Ada, Okla. He grew up there, played bass fiddle and then the guitar, in the Logsdon family band. Then added singing and storytelling to his skills. He graduated from Ada High School and then attended and graduated from East Central State University there is Ada. While getting educated, he also got married to Phyllis Landers from up the road in Okemah (hometown of the legendary singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie).

1991-014 GuyLogsdon-StanP-closeup

 Later, Guy received M.S. degree in Library Science and his Doctorate of Education from the University of Oklahoma. His first job was as Director of Libraries at prestigious University of Tulsa. Over time he became a recognized expert in three very different fields: (1) the life and music of Woody Guthrie; (2) Western swing music and the lives of Bob & Johnnie Lee Wills; and (3) old-time authentic cowboy music. 

Cover----Guy Logsdon--800 px

Dr. Logsdon wrote the liner notes for both Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger compilation CDs which were produced by Smithsonian Folkways. His books include “The University of Tulsa: A History, 1882-1972;” “The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing and Other Songs Cowboys Sing;” “Ada, Oklahoma, Queen City of the Chickasaw Nation: A Pictorial History;” “Saddle Serenaders;” “The Flip of the Coin; the Story of Tommy Allsup;” and  “Woody’s Road; Woody Guthrie’s Letters Home, Drawings, Photos, and Other Unburied Treasures” co-authored with Mary Jo Guthrie Edgmon (Woody’s youngest sister). Guy Logsdon himself was the subject of Stan Paregien’s eBook, “Guy W. Logsdon: Award-winning Folklorist,” and a main source of first-hand information for Stan’s book, “Woody Guthrie: The Man, His Music & His Myth.”

 Guy Logsdon died Feb. 5, 2018 after a short illness. He and Phyllis had been married for 64 years. One of their daughters, Cindy Logsdon Black, is married to and performs with noted cowboy poet and storyteller Baxter Black.

**********  GAIL T. BURTON

Burton, Gail Travis - 1929 to 2017 - cowboy poet in Benton, ARPeggy and I first met Gail T. Burton (Benton, AR) at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City in about 1991. That was when Dr. Guy W. Logsdon of Tulsa organized the very first “Oklahoma Cowboy Poetry Gathering.” He and I each performed there, and we would perform together at many other events over the years. Burton began writing and performing his own cowboy poetry and before he stopped he had created more than 500 poems.  He also wrote a book titled, “Cow Pies and Candle Lights” (1999).

Gail Travis Burton died on Feb. 22, 2017 at his home in Benton, Arkansas at the age of 88. He had been born Jan. 4, 1929 in Temple, OK. Ten months after his birth the United States and much of the world would be floundering the economic disaster we now call “The Great Depression.” Well, Gail grew up and served Uncle Sam as a soldier in the Army and was stationed in Korean from 1946 to 1948. Later, he took specialized training at Oklahoma State University and spent the rest of his life as a Fire Protection Specialist in California and in Arkansas.

g2000-88

Peggy Paregien took this photo at the 1st Annual Oklahoma Poetry Gathering at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. LEFT TO RIGHT: Okay, here’s where my memory has slipped a cinch. I cannot remember the fellah at the left, seems maybe he was a professor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University way out at Goodwell, Okla. Anybody know his name? That bare-faced gent 2nd from left is , . . . uh . . . give me a second . . . oh, yeah. Me. Stan Paregien. And the lady is Francine Robison, the pride of Tecumseh, OK. And on the far right is Gail T. Burton.

Burton was a deacon at First Baptist Church of Benton. He was also a Master Mason and a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. In addition, he was a member of the Missouri Cowboy Poet’s Association, and a charter member of the Academy of Western Artists. He was survived by his wife of 65 years, Barbara Burton and their five  children, 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

How Far Is It to Bethlehem?

by Gail T. Burton of Benton, AR

“How far is it to Bethlehem,”
a young cowboy asked his pard’
while riding ‘cross the open range
as the snow was falling hard.
It was coming on to Christmas,
and the two were out alone,
pushing cows to lower pasture
where the blizzard hadn’t blown.

“I know it’s past Chicago,
crosst’ the ocean anyhow;
I still don’t know just where it’s at,
but a far piece I’d allow.”
His partner rode a while in thought,
like he hadn’t even heard.
“It’s a right far piece from Heaven,
you can take me at my word.”

That’s all he said for ‘most an hour,
while they hazed the cattle slow,
but his thoughts were on the Christ child
as they trudged on through the snow.
On the thought of that first Christmas,
and the gift God sent to earth,
of the truth of Jesus’ coming,
and the blessing of His birth.

While riding on he understood
Where these thoughts of Christmas lead,
And bringing words up from his heart
The old cowboy softly said:
“I’ve no clue to mark the distance,
of the mile, ….. I’m at a loss.
How far is it to Bethlehem?
It’s just half way to the cross.”

© 2004, Gail T. Burton

 

I reckon that’s more’n enough rambling for one session. Thank you, sincerely, for stopping by. Adios for now. 

 

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Issue 331 – Music: Merle Haggard & More

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 331  –  April 25, 2016  – Stan Paregien, Sr., Editor

 

Merle Haggard: One of a Kind

by Stan Paregien Sr

Copyrighted April 25, 2016

One of country music’s brightest stars died on his birthday—as he had predicted—on April 6, 2016. Merle Ronald Haggard’s death was due to complications of pneumonia. He died at his ranch estate near Palo Cedro, California, surrounded by family members and close friends. He was 79.
Haggard, Merle  -- young  -  02

Merle Haggard was a multi-talented dynamo of energy and determination. Much like folksinger Woody Guthrie from the 1930s and 1940s, Merle was a singer who reflected the hurts and dreams of the common working people in the United States. He was, indeed, a poet of the people.  He was a skilled guitar player and fiddle player who could hold his own in any band or jam. He was even a pretty good impersonator of other country stars such as Buck Owens and Conway Twitty.

Most of all, he was an earthy, honky-tonk songwriting machine who penned many hundreds, if not 10,000 as he sometimes claimed, of songs. Merle’s songwriting could be ignited by something he saw traveling across the country on his tour bus. Or he might get a great idea from a story in the newspaper. Or he might be fishing on Lake Shasta in northern California and reel in a whopper of a song concept.

He told one interviewer in 2003 that he wrote each song with the audience in mind: “The idea is for them to go home with a belly full of what they came for.” And he added, “You’ve got to remember songs are meant to be sung. You are not writing poetry.” Ironically, in 2008 the Academy of Country Music gave The Hag its “Poet of the Year” award.

Haggard, Merle  --  late in life  -- a quote -- 02

It all started when the Haggard family of Okie dust-bowl refugees left Checotah, Oklahoma about 1934 for a chance of a better life out in the Golden State. His father was James Francis Haggard and his mother was Flossie Mae (Harp), and his two older siblings were a brother Lowell and a sister Lillian (Merle would be born three years later). When they arrived in Bakersfield, Calif., Mr. Haggard luckily found a steady job with the Santa Fe Railroad. They were living in a small apartment when Mr. Haggard bought an old railroad boxcar, bought a small lot in Oildale and put the boxcar on it. He remodeled it into a home, minus a bathroom and any luxuries. Over the years he kept adding on to it until it was a fairly decent home for the family. [On July 29, 2015, movers hauled that old “boxcar/house” over to the Kern County Museum in Oildale where it will reside in the “Pioneer Village” section and can be seen by Haggard’s fans.]

It was in that boxcar in Oildale, California that Merle Ronald Haggard was born on April 6, 1937. Mr. Haggard died in 1945 from a brain hemorrhage when Merle was just nine years old. That left his mother, a devoutly religious woman, alone to try to train and discipline this head-strong boy. She worked full-time as a bookkeeper, but she had even more of a job tending to Merle. He kept getting into trouble at school and she kept cleaning up his messes and trying to corral him. Then came his teen years and he was way out of control. That provided the sad storyline for his song, “Momma Tried.” [NOTE: It turns out, according to Ancestry.com, that there were some distance relatives of mine also living in Oildale about that time. –SP]

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loT_pYzi3Vw

Back when Haggard was twelve-years old, his brother Lowell gave his much-used guitar to him. Merle taught himself to play by listening to records made by Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Bob Wills. Haggard’s first paying gig was in about 1950 with his childhood friend Bob Teague. They played a set at “The Fun Center,” a seedy bar in Modesto. The two of them received free beer and a $5.00 bill.

The Hag grew up as a juvenile delinquent and petty criminal. He hit the big time, though, when he got drunk and tried to burglarizing a roadside bar and café. He was sent to the big house – the really big house — San Quentin prison. That was on Feb. 21, 1958, and he became Inmate 845200. There, in 1958, he sat with hundreds of his fellow inmates and watched Johnny Cash put on a dazzling, high-energy show. Then and there, Merle decided he would learn to do the same thing.

Anyway, when Merle was released from San Quentin in 1960, he went from bar to bar and honky-tonk to honky-tonk pestering the owners until they let him perform. He once said it was either go back to digging ditches in the oil fields or working like a dog in the cotton fields surrounded Bakersfield, . . . or scratch out a living singing his songs. It was an easy decision, but a difficult plan to execute.  

Later, Merle went to a Lefty Frizzell show. The producer allowed Haggard backstage to watch Frizzell. In doing so, he also sang along with Lefty, albeit out of sight of the audience. But the star heard him and like it, so he talked the producer into allowing Merle to step on stage and sing three songs. The audience applauded enthusiastically, and that made him dream more about being a professional singer and musician.

Soon the word got around that, convicted felon or not, this guy had grit and determination. And, heck, he had a style and a message which resonated with folks in the San Joaquin Valley. In 1962, his friend and mentor Wynn Stewart was performing six-nights a week at his own nightclub, “The Nashville Nevada,” in Las Vegas and had a local TV show. Stewart asked Haggard to join him. There Merle heard Stewart’s plaintiff tune, “Sing a Sad Song.” He asked his friend’s permission to record it. And in 1964 that single became a nation-wide hit for Merle.

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwGIncz-7fM

The very next year, he recorded “My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers” written by Liz Anderson (mother of Lynn Anderson) and it vaulted all the way up to the top 10 list in the country. His career was officially off and running.

Another Liz Anderson tune, “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” (co-written with her husband Casey Anderson) became The Hag’s very first, certified Number 1 hit. And the money and offers began to be thrown at him, big time.

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejmDQp13YII

It was Merle Haggard and The Strangers band who, with Buck Owens and The Buckaroos, perfected “The Bakersfield Sound” of straight-shooting, no holds barred, twangy music made with Fender Telecaster guitars, weepy steel guitars and pounding drums.  In Haggard’s band, it was Ralph Mooney playing the steel guitar and Roy Nichols teasing hot-licks out of his Fender Telecaster guitar.

My late cousin, Roger K. Paregien, grew up in Bakersfield. He told me of how he knew Haggard fairly well when he was struggling to make a name for himself playing in the bars and clubs in the area. And my cousin Jerry R. Paregien, while living in Yuba City, Calif., often went fishing and camping at Lake Shasta. He and his wife often saw Merle fishing from his unusual houseboat which he called “Hotel Thermadore.”

The Hag ordered his houseboat specifically for use on Lake Shasta. The official park and lake regulations specified that no vessel could be larger than 15 feet wide and no longer than 50 feet. Well, Merle had his own specifications. His houseboat, launched in 1982, was a three-story vessel that, with catwalks along the sides, measured 18 feet wide and 50 feet long. The rangers protested and, eventually, Merle removed the side catwalks. It was a well-designed party boat which even had a private fishing well inside, where he and his guests could fish day or night without being viewed. He sold his houseboat in 2006. The new owners removed the third story and did extensive updates. It is now called “The Shasta Queen” and can be seen cruising the waters of Lake Shasta. 

Haggard, Merle -- his former houseboat, now called 'The Shasta Queen'

The “Okie from Muskogee” man was at his peak of popularity from about 1965 to 1990.  Merle wrote “Okie from Muskogee” in 1969 while traveling on his tour bus, and it was nothing but his own poke-in-the-eye of the hippies and protesters of that period. However, folks interpreted it as a patriotic piece of Americana and made it one of his best-selling songs. A watershed moment for the Hag came when the Country Music Association in 1970 named his song “Okie From Muskogee” the best single of the year and the album from which it came was the album of the year. Best of all, they name Merle Haggard the Entertainer of the Year.”

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68cbjlLFl4U

In 1972, the sitting Governor of California—a former actor named Ronald Reagan—gave Haggard a full pardon.

Haggard, Merle  --  with Governor Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy

Merle Haggard shares a laugh with California Governor Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy.

And nearly as sweet, Merle had an unprecedented run of nine consecutive Number 1 hits between 1973 and 1976. In 1980, he had another Number 1 hit with “Bar Room Buddies” featuring a duet between himself and mega-star actor Clint Eastwood (for the movie “Bronco Billy”). 

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l0luZHf_yg

Haggard, Merle  --  with Clint Eastwood  'Barroom Buddies'

Then in Haggard’s autobiography, Sing Me Back Home, was published in 1981. Another musical streak started for Merle that year. From then to 1985, he produced 12 more songs that jumped right into the Top 10 barrel. Heck, 9 of those 12 climbed all the way to Uno Numero. Those number one recordings included “Someday When Things are Good,” “Natural High,” and “Going Where the Lonely Go.” And in 1982 he and George Jones worked together to drive “Yesterday’s Wine” to the top of the chart. Then he repeated that duet thing with “Pancho and Lefty” with Willie Nelson in 1983 and rode it to the top of the heap. He was hot. Very hot.

However, his marriage was not. Not hot, that is. He and Leona Williams, after only five years, split the sheets. The next ten years of wild partying became mostly a blur for The Hag, as he abused both alcohol and drugs and sex. But early on, in 1984, he cranked out the great song, “That’s the Way Love Goes” and for it won a “Best Male County Vocal Performance” award from the Grammy folks.

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcUZst4vcAM

The last song he would ever have ring the Number 1 bell was one of my personal favorites: “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star.”

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfGqJzacgQU

My wife, Peggy, says her favorite Merle Haggard song is “Rainbow Stew.”

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEDT7QGDzsE

The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Haggard in 1994. And soon, amazingly enough, he took his honky-tonk Bakersfield music on a highly successful tour with The Rolling Stones and with Bob Dylan.

I remember a stressful time in my own life when my wife and I were in financial stress. And I recall latching onto Haggard’s sad-but-hopeful song, “If We Make It Through December.” It still brings tears to my eyes.

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGDo1Jybs_I

Other demons in Haggard’s life included the bottle, drugs and a long list of broken relationships of the female variety. He was married five times. The first was Leona Hobbs Williams, a singer, which ran from 1956 to 1964. The second was Bonnie Owens, former wife of Buck Owens, who sang harmony, and they were together as mates from 1965 to 1978.

Haggard, Merle with wife Bonnie Owens H and George Jones and Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette and George Jones with Mr. & Mrs. Merle Haggard (Bonnie Owens Haggard)

That same year, Haggard married his fourth lady, Debbie Parret, but they divorced in 1991. His fifth wife, and the one who was still with him at the time of his death, was Theresa Lane. He had a total of six children. 

Haggard was so in touch with the hearts of his fans that he had 38 songs reach Number 1 on the charts. At one point in his career he released nine songs in a row that made it to Number 1. Over 100 of his songs were successful enough to at least make it on the charts, no small accomplishment for any entertainer.

Here is the list of his thirty-eight (yes, 38) Number 1 hits and the year each was honored: (1) “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” in 1966; (2) “Branded Man” in 1967; (3) “Sing Me Back Home” in 1968; (4) “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde” in 1968; (5) “Mama Tried” in 1968; (6) “Hungry Eyes” in 1969; (7) “Workin’ Man Blues” in 1969; (8) “Okie from Muskogee” in 1969; (9) “The Fightin’ Side of me” in 1970; (10) “Daddy Frank” in 1971; (11) “Carolyn” in 1971; (12) “Grandma Harp” in 1972; (13) “It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)” in 1972; (14) “I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me” in 1972; (15) “Everybody’s Had the Blues” in 1973; (16) “If We Make It through December” in 1973; (17) “Things Aren’t Funny Anymore” in 1974; (18) “Old Man from the Mountain” in 1974; and (19) “Kentucky Gambler” in 1974.

And (20) “Always Wanting You” in 1975; (21) “Movin’ On” in 1975; (22) “It’s All in the Movies” in 1975; (23) “The Roots of My Raising” in 1975; (24) “Cherokee Maiden” in 1976; (25) “Bar Room Buddies” with Clint Eastwood in 1980; (26) “I Think I’ll Just Say Here and Drink” in 1980; (27) “My Favorite Memory” in 1981; (28) “Big City” in 1981; (29) “Yesterday’s Wine” with George Jones in 1982; (30) “Going Where the Lonely Go” in 1982; (31) “You Take Me for Granted” in 1982; (32) “Pancho and Lefty” with Willie Nelson in 1983; (33) “That’s the Way Love Goes” in 1984; (35) “Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room” in 1984; (36) “A Place to Fall Apart” with Janie Frickie in 1984; (37) “Natural High” in 1985; and (38) his very last Number 1 song of his whole career, “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” in 1987. 

Merle Haggard achieved those 38 Number 1 records in a span of just 15 years. He would continue performing around the world for another 29 years, but would never again have a Number 1 hit.

On stage, he preferred to sing his songs rather than to talk much to his audiences. My wife and I went to a concert in Las Vegas in 1986 which featured George Jones, Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty doing their individual sets. Merle, like George Jones, came out and said little; but delivered a solid performance of his hit songs. The evening was stolen by Conway Twitty. The hormones of the women in the audience went into overdrive when he came out and said, “Hello, darlin'” in his deep, sexy voice. Then throughout the program he shared stories about his career, his long friendships with other performers, and such. The concert featuring these three legends was a moment to remember, but Twitty best connected with the audience.

Merle Haggard’s standard practice, during the last two decades of his career, was to approach each concert and live audience was to go with the flow. He no longer worked for a set-in-concrete set list. With an inventory of some 300 songs he could easily draw from at any moment, he liked just winging the show and following the applause of the audience as a good signal of the type of songs they wanted. Not many performers are comfortable with that arrangement.

Merle and his wife Bonnie Owens in 1965 were selected for the “Best Vocal Group” for their duet songs in a whole album, and in 1967 that won “Top Duo.” In 1970, the Academy of Country Music named him “Entertainer of the Year.” In 1977, Merle Haggard was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1982 his song, “Are the Good Times Really Over” won the “Song of the Year” award. In 1995, he walked away from the Academy of Country Music awards show with their “Pioneer Award.” In 1997, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Grammy organization and he also won the BMI “Icon Award.”  In 2010, he went to Washington, D.C., where he was given a Kennedy Center Award. The Academy of Country Music in 2013 bestowed on him its “Crystal Milestone Award.”

In 2015, Merle joined forces with old-friend Willie Nelson, again. This time they did a duet on video titled “It’s All Going to Pot.” Both Haggard and Nelson were both shown smoking marijuana joints. That was no surprise for Willie’s followers, but probably was for a lot of people who love Merle’s music.

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6c6eUeoa9Q

There were clues, however, in various interviews when Haggard poopooed the efforts of the Federal government to enforce anti-pot laws. In a magazine interview in 2003, he said: “I had different views in the ’70s. As a human being, I’ve learned [more]. I have more culture now. I was dumb as a rock when I wrote ‘Okie From Muskogee’. That’s being honest with you at the moment, and a lot of things that I said [then] I sing with a different intention now. My views on marijuana have totally changed. I think we were brainwashed and I think anybody that doesn’t know that needs to get up and read and look around, get their own information. It’s a cooperative government project to make us think marijuana should be outlawed.”

 

Haggard, Merle  -- and Willie Nelson  --  01

Merle & Willie

Now, one little-known talent that ol’ Merle had was in impersonating other country music stars. In the video below, he is on the Glen Campbell Show and impersonates Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Buck Owens and Johnny Cash (with Owens and Cash appearing with them).

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4V3S7kGNjY

Haggard, Merle  --  with Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell

Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens & Glen Campbell

Then here is another impersonation session on live TV in which Merle Haggard and wife Bonnie Owens Haggard sing together, and Marty Robbins is there.

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng5bPhCHAIs

On April 9, 2016, a private funeral service was conducted at the Haggard estate in northern California. Nashville star and long-time friend Connie Smith sang “Precious Memories,” while she and husband Marty Stuart sang a duet of “Silver Wings.” The Hag’s old buddy Kris Kristoffersen sang “Sing Me Back Home, Again” and “For a Moment of Forever.” Then Willie Nelson’s son, Micah Nelson, joined Kristoffersen in singing the Willie-Merle hit song, “Pancho and Lefty.” After that, Haggard’s own sons—Ben, Marty and Noel—joined Kristoffersen in singing “Today I Started Loving You, Again,” a song written by Merle Haggard and wife Bonnie Owens Haggard in 1968.

Haggard, Merle  -- with Kris Kristoffersen  --  01

Merle & Kris a few years back

The tired, worn-out body of Merle Haggard was thus laid to rest. However, his large inventory of music CD’s and DVD’s and videos will help keep his legendary talent in the public’s mind for decades and decades to come. Real estate sales people, particularly in California, always like to say, “Buy property now, ’cause they ain’t making any more.” They’re not making any more Merle Haggards, either. So it is hard to guess what young country music star might one day over-shadow the career of Merle Haggard, but we know that eventually it will happen.

Still, ‘ol Merle’s music will be heard across America as long as the grass grows and the water flows.

End.

2016--03--20--B     Dion DiMucci of 'Dion and the Belmonts'

2016--02--22   Death of country singer SONNY JAMES at age 87

2016--03--20    Neil Young, 'My Defining Moment'

House concerts reappearing - by Ginny Beagan -- Page 1 of 2

House concerts reappearing - by Ginny Beagan -- Page 2 of 2

Alright, friends and internet neighbors, here are a few songs that some of you may want to learn and share with your own friends.

Somebody Make Trump Go Away -- a song copyrighted 2016--03--10 by Stan Paregien Sr

Banjos  --  Music  -- Maestro spends eternity in the banjo room in hell

 

 

Atheists Don't Have No Songs  -- by comedian Steve Martin -- page 1 of  2

'I got the ain't nobody reading my tweets blues.'

Big Boss Man  --  by Al Smith and Luther Dixon  -- Blues

Blue Ridge Mountain Blues  --  by Bill Clifton and Buddy Dee  -- bluegrass

Gift, The -- by Garth Brooks -- page 1 of 2 -- Christmas songGift, The -- by Garth Brooks -- page 2 of 2 -- Christmas song

He's In the Jailhouse Now  --  blues, bluegrass

Isle of Innisfree   --  by Richard Farrelly of Ireland -- Irish song

Music -- banjo - he told me he's a musician, but he's a banjo player

1900s -- early  --  All-Girl Orchestra in Manatee County, Florida

Music  --  Mother Grimm cartoon 'Doe, a female dear, - - -' buzzards sing

Thank you, so much, for stopping by and spending part of your day with me here at the ol’ cowboy bunkhouse. See ya the next time.

— Stan

AA  Fair Use Disclaimer - 01 -- designed on by Stan Paregien Sr on 2016-02-01

 

Issue 296 – Maggie’s TexMex Cafe

Issue 296    —    The Paregien Journal    —    February 9, 2015

Maggie’s TexMex Cafe

by Stan Paregien Sr.

Hello friends and neighbors,

Welcome to another of my posts to “The Paregien Journal.” This one features a brand new poem of mine titled, “Maggie’s TexMex Cafe.” Pardon me for saying it, but the truth is, I really do like it. I can see it being recorded by someone in Western music or even Folk music, maybe someone like Red Steagall, Belinda Gail, Riders in the Sky, or a number of other talented folk. Right now I’m trying to shoehorn the verses into some existing Spanish-sounding melody, but I’m not having much luck. So I’m open to hearing from anyone who might like to help, with a possibility of co-credits for the song version. Not to mention a share of the millions of dollars in royalties. Okay, okay. I’m optimistic about the poem/song, but not THAT much. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll just keep trying until I find a melody that I can use. 


Poem 404   Magie's TexMex Cafe  - by Stan Paregien - copyrighted Dec 14, 2014 - Page 1 of 2

Poem 404   Magie's TexMex Cafe  - by Stan Paregien - copyrighted Dec 14, 2014 - Page 2 of 2

Sunset Over Tampa Bay

102_0731

Photo by Stan Paregien from the Norwegian Sun cruise ship at about

6:30 pm on Jan. 25, 2015. Copyrighted and all rights reserved.

A Prayer for My Son - by Ron Tranmer

  I found the above poem recently. Thought you

would like to read it. 

Aging -- correcting document on your computer with 'white-out'

Ah, yes, we senior citizens (i.e., old geezers) are creatures of habit,

aren’t we?  No, Virginia, you cannot white out

your Word document errors on the monitor. 

Books -- Authors -- number 1 seller

Publishers are really preoccupied with their books

having “catchy” titles. Writers, too. 

Airplane travel -- cartoon - your appendix is about to burst

Animals - squirrel - you know its a real bad day when you are hung by your nuts I hope your day is going a whole lot better

than it did for the squirrel, above. Ouch.

2014--08--25  J00C  Kamiah, ID  - elk  --  by Stan  Paregien

Look closely, at the right side of this photo, near the center, and you’ll see a beautiful elk which bounded across the highway in front of us near Nez Perce, Idaho last August. It loped across the highway and across this pristine river. Of all the Western states we visited last summer, both Peggy and I agreed that Idaho seemed to have more natural beauty per mile. Don’t get me wrong, though. We enjoyed all of our trip–Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming–but Idaho was certainly a special place. 

Besides this new posting, I’ve also added new material at my “Stan’s Paradise Report” blog under the title, “Florida’s Good, Bad and . . . Well, You Know.” And I have added items at my blog, “The Cowboy Way: Then and Now” under the title, “The Ten Commandments: Cowpoke Style.”

End.

Issue 261 — Woody Guthrie: His Life, Music and Myth

Issue 261    —    The Paregien Journal    —    August 8, 2012

Woody Guthrie: His Life, Music and Myth

by Stan Paregien, Sr.

(Click on graphics to enlarge each one)

My 7th Kindle E-book, titled Woody Guthrie: His Life, Music & Myth,  is now online and available for purchase at www.amazon.com .

This one represents more than 1 1/2 years of research on this famous/infamous Oklahoma-born folk singer, songwriter, poet, artist and novelist. It has more than 300 pages of text and some 70 photos and illustrations.

 I have attached a couple of flyers with additional information. Please feel free to pass them on to anyone who loves music . . . or has any interest in the Dust Bowl days . . . or is interested in World War II . . . or may be interested in Guthrie’s losing battle over many years with a dibilitating mental and physical disease we call Huntington’s Disease . . . or would like to read about how music was used to protest poverty and labor conditions . . . or how and why so many entertainers got caught up in the “Red Scare” and blacklisting during the 1940s and 1950s. This e-book touches on those topics and much more.

 Oh, part of that “and much more” includes one poem and five songs that I wrote this year which were directly inspired by Woody Guthrie’s life and music. And it includes an extensive bibliography of reference materials.

 Best wishes,

Stan Paregien Sr