The oldest son of country music legend Merle Haggard is carrying on father's music legacy.
Marty Haggard sounds and looks just like his dad. Merle’s oldest son makes his home in the ArkLaTex, a short drive from Shreveport in Doyline.
Merle Haggard is one of the greatest country singers of all time. He wrote and recorded hits like "Mama Tried", "Sing Me Back Home", and "Workin' Man Blues", which featured Shreveport's James Burton. In all, Haggard produced 38 number one hits.
Despite his dad's stardom, it wasn't always so easy for Marty who says he grew up poor near Bakersfield, California.
Marty explains, “I was born and raised in a boxcar. And I was born when dad was in San Quentin Prison. We didn't have nothin'.”
It was in San Quentin Prison that Merle Haggard witnessed Johnny Cash’s performance. Merle had taught himself to play guitar. He played and sang in prison and many of his fellow inmates tried to convince him that he had a gift.
“When they finally released him in 1960, he came out with a dream to do something through music."
Twelve years later, Merle Haggard was a national sensation and playing for President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon in the White House. Marty Haggard tours and performs around the country. He presents his father’s songs as treasures, keeping them alive. The songs are very personal to Marty.
Part of his show is storytelling. Explaining to Merle Haggard fans the story behind nearly every song.
He describes his show as: “A tribute to my dad. Basically, it’s just real intimate and you'll find it's not a show, it's a sharing.”