Back in October, we shared a free stream of Merle Haggard's latest album Working in Tennessee, followed by the announcement that we'd like you to submit questions for the country music legend. Merle was going to select five winners, answer their questions, and award them with a free copy of the new album.
Well, we've finally heard back from him and it appears he chose seven winners instead of just five. You can find his favorite questions - and his answers - below. Congratulations to our seven winners, who will be receiving their copy of Working in Tennessee shortly. Enjoy the interview!
You've written so many songs that obviously draw on your life experiences. Has the way you write changed over the years, or is the process still an emotional release for you? (Troy Semple)
My songwriting has evolved over the years depending upon what I’m writing.
With all of the great songs you have written I usually take note when you cover someone else's. I especially liked your cover of Blaze Foley's "If I Could Only Fly". I am curious to know if you knewor knew of Blaze when he was alive. (Chris Sweeney)
I met Blaze, but he died shortly after I recorded it the first time in ’84.
I would like to know whether you considered yourself to be Pancho or Lefty? Any plans to team up with Willie again? (Joe Doherty)
Matter of fact, we’re working on a song “A Horse Called Music” as a team effort with Willie’s son, as well. We’re still in the process. Haven’t yet heard it myself.
Of all the honors and awards that you have received throughout your career, which one has meant the most to you and why? (Paula Tillapaugh)
My favorites are the obvious ones—BMI has awarded 18 of my songs with ‘A Million Plays’ plaques,which means I get a raise. (Laughing)
Did you ever have a chance to meet with or perform for Ronald Regan after he pardoned you?" (Jack Ripple)
I played for him at his ranch in ’84.
Who is the person who influenced you the most when starting out playing music, and how? (David Love)
You've known some great artists throughout your career, and I wondered if there was anyone, living or passed, that would be on your bucket list to work with? (Gary Snead)
I’ve recorded with about everyone I’ve ever wanted to, except for Kris Kristofferson. We’ve played together, but never recorded together. We’ve talked about it. I’d love to hear some of the new kids, like Miranda Lambert, record some of my songs.