Do The Evolution

Merle Haggard makes a triumphant return. Wait -- he never went away.

DO: It must have been impossible to imagine at the time, though, that all those things--your father's death, jail, everything--would shape your life the way it has.

Proud to be your old man: Merle Haggard's had 39 No. 1 records, and you can see every one of those great country songs in his face.
Proud to be your old man: Merle Haggard's had 39 No. 1 records, and you can see every one of those great country songs in his face.
Mama tried: "I believe if I'd had a couple good ass-kickings when I was 12 years old that I'd never have gone to prison. None of that would've ever happened."
Mama tried: "I believe if I'd had a couple good ass-kickings when I was 12 years old that I'd never have gone to prison. None of that would've ever happened."

MH: I grew up in this business not having any foresight. I'm just a guy who went into a little bar and got a job playing guitar--I wasn't even hired as a singer--in order to make a few extra bucks a week. I had no earthly idea that the thing would evolve into what it has. I always liked the word "evolve." Man, I evolved--with no idea that the Lord had all this in mind for me.

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