Muskogee wept on Wednesday.
Though he grew up in hardscrabble Bakersfield, California, country music outlaw Merle Haggard was forever wed to the Oklahoma town he sang about in, “Okie From Muskogee,” the everyman anthem that was a number one hit in turbulent 1969.
Haggard died on his birthday Wednesday, April 6, from complications from pneumonia. He was 79.
During his lengthy career, The Hag had 38 number one hits, but is best known in the American trucking industry for two songs, “Truck Driver’s Blues” and “Movin’ On,” the theme song for the NBC TV show of the same name about two truck drivers.
Here’s a few cuts from the essential Haggard playlist.
Truck Driver’s Blues
Working Man Blues
Okie From Muskogee
The Fightin’ Side of Me
Pancho and Lefty