Merle Haggard has cancelled his April shows for his tour due to health reasons. The singer has announced he is recovering from receiving double pneumonia.Haggard’s doctor has ordered bed rest and lots of time to recover. Haggard has also canceled tour dates for February and March. The musician was scheduled to perform alongside Willie Nelson & Family at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis, Missouri. But the Willie Nelson & Family tour will continue to perform without the singer. Musicians Jamey Johnson and Ryan Bingham are filling in the show slot for Haggard as he recovers.
“I want to thank my fans for their prayers and well wishes. I hope to be back on the road in May, but I’m taking it one day at a time,” the singer said in a statement from his publicist on Tuesday to Billboard.
The musician is in his late seventies and has survived lung cancer after being diagnosed with the disease back in 2008. Haggard was featured on a Gretchen Wilson’s song and music video for “Politically Uncorrect” and is the maker of country hits “Okie From Muskogee,” “Mama Tried” and “Workin’ Man Blues.” Haggard’s single “Mama Tried” was made into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Currently, Haggard has shows scheduled for May 10 and May 11 with Marty Stuart. The shows in April that are canceled will affect his shows in states such as Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.
Merle Haggard is on the same level as Hank Williams, a legend. But despite his musical talent, Haggard is also a man with a warm soul. Merle was raised in the Depression-Era Bakersfield, California where he often ran away from home on a daily basis, he found himself often sitting or sleeping in the county jail, mostly for theft or bad checks. But in those times of his youth, he found himself a hobby that he turned into a successful career. Haggard often played guitar and sung informally doing performances at southern California clubs and the Smilin’ Jack Tyree Radio Show back in the day. In 1960, he get himself a job playing for Wynn Stewart in Las Vegas after being let out on parole from burglarizing a roadhouse back in 1957 while he was intoxicated. Haggard has recorded over 600 songs in total. He is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is a versatile artist, meaning he often changes between country and other form of music or other forms of country styles.