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Real Country music may be dead, but its last true cowboy, Merle Haggard, carries on the original sound

Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 June 2001

COUNTRY MUSIC is over. There are lots of rock singers wearing cowboy hats these days, but genuine country music is all but dead and gone. Willie Nelson is still doing his thing – which has as much to do with country music as the Grateful Dead has to do with rock. Johnny Cash is suffering from some mysterious debilitating illness. Buck Owens lost half his tongue to cancer. George Jones is out there . . . somewhere. Merle Haggard is one of the last damn cowboys left.

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