The final recording by country great Merle Haggard is scheduled to be released tomorrow (Thursday, May 12).
Kern River Blues was written and recorded during the days when he was fighting pneumonia earlier this year. While his doctor’s advised that he not tour, he still found the strength to walk to his recording studio which was across the road from his home. It is said that he recorded a few songs during those days but, according to the family, Kern River Blues was the last.
Kern River Blues is about Merle’s feelings upon leaving Bakersfield in the late 70’s. It is another in the long string of songs written by Haggard that challenge the government. One verse in the song says “There used to be a river here, runnin’ deep and wide / Well, they used to have Kern River, runnin’ deep and wide / Then somebody stole the water, another politician lied”.
According to Haggard’s site, his family was looking for a way to thank fans for their tremendous outpouring of love and support during Merle’s final months, so they decided to give 10% of all proceeds from the release to homeless charities.
Kern River Blues will be available at merlehaggard.com and the iTunes store.
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