All country music fans have mourned the untimely death of country music legend Merle Haggard last April 6th. He was stricken with pneumonia for months that eventually lead to his untimely passing.
However, Haggard had one goal and that is to write and records as much music as he could. And, we all know that that is exactly what he did.
For almost six decades of career, he recorded a seemingly endless collection of his work. He continuously worked on recording as many songs as possible. He received many honors and awards for his music, including a Kennedy Center Honor (2010), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), a BMI Icon Award (2006), and induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1977), Country Music Hall of Fame (1994) and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (1997). That collection was dubbed “The Archive” by Haggard. However, it has not been released to date. We do believe that it’s time will come though.
After his passing, his family had to make a very difficult decision of what his posthumous single will be. So, instead of releasing something buried and part of “The Archive,” they chose the very last song he recorded, “Kern River Blues.”
This track first came out on SiriusXM's Willie's Roadhouse on May 12th, 2016. Now, it is available on iTunes and on Merle Haggard’s website.
"Kern River Blues" is about him looking back on his time in Bakersfield, California way back in the late 1970s. You can also hear how he laments about the city’s enormous growth at that time. The song also featured his son, Ben, on guitar.
The song ends in a haunting memory for the singer, "Well, I'm leaving town forever / Kiss an old boxcar goodbye / I dug my blues down in the river / But the old Kern River is dry."
According to his website, this final piece of legacy in music was recorded at his home on February 9, last year.
Let me us know what you think about his song. Here it is:
You will truly be missed, Merle Haggard.