Muskogee remembers Merle Haggard

Posted at 10:59 PM, Apr 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 09:36:54-04

The death of country music legend Merle Haggard is hitting home in Muskogee.

The town was made famous by his 1969 chart topper, ‘Okie from Muskogee.’ For decades his song has been the official anthem of this town.

RELATED: Rank your favorite Merle Haggard songs

This week The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame is honoring the late star.

Historians say Haggard’s parents grew up 20 miles down the road in Checotah. That’s where he drew inspiration for the song.

He hoped to show how folks in the Midwest felt about Vietnam War protests happening on college campuses around the country.

“When the song came out it was one of those immediate hits,” Jim Blair, OMHoF Executive Director said. “The word viral wasn’t part of the music industry back then, but in it’s own way it went viral because it was a catchy tune and it did put Muskogee on the map.”

Haggard was supposed to headline G-Fest in Muskogee this summer.

Organizers are now considering a Merle Haggard tribute show at the event.

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