Merle Haggard may have been sick the last few months of his life battling the pneumonia that finally felled him. But he also spent time recording a few songs with “Kern River Blues” slated to be out on Thursday on SiriusXM channel’s Willie’s Roadhouse.
While sick, The Hag was hospitalized for much of the time, resulting in the cancellation of most of his concerts.
When it was suggested that he not go back on the road and rest at home, he did while also walking across the road to his studio to record a few songs he’d been writing while in the hospital. “Kern River Blues,” which is about his memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late ’70s, was his final song.
Haggard’s family wanted to thank people for their support during his illness and decided to release the song. After debuting on SiriusXM Channel Willie’s Roadhouse (which can be heard on SiriusXM channel 59 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com), the song will be available at the Haggard web site and iTunes. Ten percent of all gross proceeds from the sale of this song will go to homeless charities.