Merle Haggard Back Home After Lung Surgery

Despite being in his 70s, country music legend Merle Haggard has always seemed to make his way to Dallas a couple of times a year. And hopefully that trend will continue after Haggard recovers from lung surgery at his home in Bakersfield, California.

A recent biopsy revealed that Haggard had non-small cell lung cancer (a form of the disease that has a much better cure rate), so surgery to remove the upper lobe of his right lung became mandatory. According to the surgeon, Haggard woke from the operation, yodeled and smiled. And his post-operative progress was so rapid that he was discharged on Saturday.

That’s good news for all involved as Haggard is still one of the preeminent country singer-songwriters in music--country or otherwise.

A couple of years back, Haggard did a co-headlining tour with Bob Dylan and many folks claimed that Haggard’s portion of the show was the better performance.

Haggard has always had a special place in Texas music history: He ran away from his California home in 1951 to come to Texas and his long relationship with Willie Nelson and the Austin country scene is well-documented. And of course, Haggard’s renowned odes to hayseed sensibilities, “Okie from Muskogee” and “The Fighting Side of Me” still find a sympathetic ear in the red areas across the state.

Love him or hate him, let’s all hope Haggard makes it back to the stage quickly. --Darryl Smyers

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