Haggard Family Unveils Plans for Merle Haggard Museum

Bill and Shannon Miller, the founders of Icon Entertainment Group, joined Merle Haggard’s family to unveil plans for the new Merle Haggard Museum and Merle’s Meat + 3 Saloon to be located at 121 Third Avenue South, Nashville, TN.  Working together, the Millers and the Haggards have curated performance wardrobes, instruments, professional and personal possessions and are designing interactive exhibits, to ensure that Merle’s fans are treated to a unique experience.  On this date, which marks the 50th Anniversary of the Capitol Records release of “Sing Me Back Home,” it was revealed that Merle’s Meat + 3 Saloon will also be a part of the plans to preserve this country music legend in in Music City. “The world lost one of the greatest country singers of all time and I lost the love of my life when Merle Haggard died on his 79th birthday April 6, 2016,” says Theresa Haggard. “Now, nearly one and half years later, I have partnered with my friends Bill and Shannon Miller, owners of the acclaimed Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline Museums to open the Merle Haggard Museum. Merle would be very happy knowing that his museum will be next door to his dear friend Johnny Cash. I’m sure he is up there smiling about that. Our family is also very excited about the Merle-themed restaurant and bar featuring first-class, Southern home cooking and a saloon to boot. This museum will be a way to preserve and share the love Merle had for music and life.” “My family is honored to join with our dear friends, the Haggard family, to bring a new, world-class museum to Nashville,” says Bill Miller, Founder of Icon Entertainment Group. “Merle Haggard is one of the most iconic country music singers and songwriters of all time. Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines both named him the number one country entertainer of all-time. We are very excited to begin the process of designing and building Merle’s museum which will also feature a Southern-style restaurant and saloon bearing his name. We are thrilled to be working with long time Nashville family restaurant operator David Swett, who brings his highly respected expertise to our restaurant. Swett’s opened their doors in 1954 and is still going strong.” Located at 121 Third Avenue South, the building will house Merle’s Meat + 3 Saloon on the ground level with the Merle Haggard Museum on an upper floor. Projected to open in the summer of 2018, the restaurant will be operated by the Swett Family, who are a staple on the Nashville scene operating their Swett’s Restaurant for 62 years. This new venture for Bill and Shannon Miller will mark the fifth attraction currently owned and operated by Icon Entertainment Group. Their first property was The Johnny Cash Museum, which opened its doors in April of 2013 and would go on to become one of the most applauded museum in the U.S. most recently earning the distinction as the only museum and music attraction on TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 Trending U.S. Continue reading

Merle Haggard’s Legacy Celebrated On New "Country’s Family Reunion" Episodes In November With John Conlee, Mark Wills, Vince Gill, Bobby Bare & More

Upcoming brand new, never before seen episodes of “Country’s Family Reunion” will pay tribute to country music legend, Merle Haggard. Artists in this series include John Conlee, Vince Gill, Bobby Bare, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, Teea Goans, Rhonda Vincent and more. This is one of the biggest ever Reunions as they pay tribute to the life and music of Merle Haggard. Featuring songs and stories from three of Merle’s sons, along with John Conlee, Vince Gill, Bobby Bare, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, Teea Goans, Rhonda Vincent, Ray Benson, The Isaacs, Mark Wills, David Frizzell, Ronnie Reno, Mac Wiseman, Bill Anderson and more. The idea behind the hit “Country’s Family Reunion” series when it all started in 1997 was simple – ask the great people who shaped country music to get together and talk about their history, and maybe sing a few songs. Each episode of Country’s Family Reunion is hosted by country legend and hit songwriter, Bill Anderson who guides the discussion and supplies viewers with inside stories from his many years in the business. Nearly 20 years later, Gabriel Communications celebrates more than a dozen projects, featuring hundreds of songs and never-before-heard stories from some of country music’s original artists, which would have otherwise been lost forever. Click here to find out where to watch RFD-TV and “Country’s Family Reunion” in your area. Upcoming “Country’s Family Reunion” Airdates: *All episodes re-air on Saturdays at 11 pm CST Friday, November 4 – Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting Friday, November 11 – Tribute to Merle Haggard Friday, November 18 – Tribute to Merle Haggard Friday, November 25 – Tribute to Merle Haggard Tune in Fridays at 7 pm CST and Saturdays at 11 pm CST on RFD-TV. The “’Country’s Family Reunion’ Collection Series” DVD box set features four different show compilations including “Country’s Family Reunion Original,” “Country’s Family Reunion Celebration,” “Country’s Family Reunion Gospel,” and “Stories From The Golden Age Of Country.” Purchase the entire series and have unlimited access to over 50 legendary country music artists with 130 rare live performances online by visiting www.cfrvideos.com. ABOUT “COUNTRY’S FAMILY REUNION” Gabriel Communications, started in 1996 by long-time disc jockey Larry Black, is the producer of the popular “Country’s Family Reunion” and “Larry’s Country Diner” series. Black first applied the “Reunion” concept to the legends of country music in 1997. The idea was simple: bring America’s most-treasured artists together into one room to reunite and reminisce about their careers, perform signature songs and share stories while the cameras roll. The result has been pure magic, documenting hundreds of stories and performances that would have otherwise been lost. Each episode of Country’s Family Reunion is hosted by country legend and hit songwriter, Bill Anderson who guides the discussion and supplies viewers with inside stories from his many years in the business. The series’ popularity has led to top-rated shows on RFD-TV and wildly successful DVD sales, spurring the creation of more than a dozen more projects and “Country’s Family Reunion” News (a monthly newspaper Continue reading

Merle Haggard Surprises Audience at Grand Ole Opry

Merle Haggard steals the Opry spotlight and surprises the audience with a few of his classic hits. Country music legend Merle Haggard gave Grand Ole Opry attendees a treat last night when he took the stage and performed some of his most-loved hits including “Big City,” Silver Wings,” “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink,” and “The Fightin’ Side Of Me.” Haggard, a Grammy®-winner and Kennedy Center honoree, had a night off as he rolled through Nashville and wanted to honor the Opry’s 90th Anniversary celebration with a performance on the storied stage. [bctt tweet=”@MerleHaggard Warms up for tour by stealing the @Opry spotlight! #CountryMusic”] The Country Music Hall of Fame member will begin his much anticipated joint tour with fellow music legend Willie Nelson tomorrow (Oct 19) in Roanoke, VA and continues on to Detroit (Oct 20), Bloomington, IL (Oct 21), Pikeville, KY (Oct 23), Milwaukee, WI (Oct 24) and Green Bay, WI (Oct 25). The tour is in support of their new album, Django and Jimmie. Haggard and Nelson are nominated for this year’s CMA Musical Event of the Year award. The Opry is in the midst of its 90th Anniversary celebration, which is set to continue throughout 2015. Among those coming soon to the Opry stage are Rascal Flatts, Loretta Lynn, Alison Krauss, David Nail, Old Crow Medicine Show, Radney Foster, Montgomery Gentry, Easton Corbin, Kacey Musgraves, Lauren Alaina, Del McCoury Band, Lorrie Morgan, and more. Additional information is available at 800-SEE-OPRY and opry.com.

Happy Birthday Merle Haggard

WE WANT TO WISH A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE LEGEND, MERLE HAGGARD! Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Merle Haggard, Happy Birthday to you!!!! From all of us here at CMNB, we want to wish the “one and only rebel child” a very special Happy Birthday! Here’s to The Hag! Cheers!! In honor of this special occasion…here is a classic of his…”Working Man Blues!” ENJOY!

Merle Haggard Home After Hospitalization

Merle Haggard Returns Home After Hospitalized for Illness. Merle Haggard was hospitalized Tuesday, January 17th at a Georgia hospital to be treated for pneumonia. He was released after treatment and intended to head home on his tour bus after canceling a show in Macon, GA. However, he was then readmitted to be treated for other ailments including 3 stomach ulcers and 8 colon polyps. The country icon has now returned to his California home. Our thoughts and prayers are with Merle as he continues to recover. No news yet as to whether or not his illness will influence upcoming tour dates.

Merle Haggard Hospitalized For Pneumonia

Merle Haggard Has Been Hospitalized In Georgia For Pneumonia. Merle Haggard was hospitalized Tuesday evening in Georgia. Haggard was scheduled for a show that night, but finally took some advice and went to the hospital. Good thing! The Silver Wings singer was admitted for pneumonia and is currently in the hospital eager to get better. Haggard had some shows left this month, but with the circumstances those will be canceled. He is set to be back on the road in February, but I know I speak for many when I say GET WELL SOON!!!!!!!! The fans aren’t going anywhere and would rather Haggard be healthy!

Grammy Committee Says Merle Haggard’s “The Bluegrass Sessions” Is Not Bluegrass

Nashville, TN…McCoury Music, the artist-owned and operated label that released legendary singer/songwriter Merle Haggard‘s The Bluegrass Sessions on October 2nd, expressed its shock today at a National Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences committee’s decision to exclude the acclaimed album from consideration for nomination in its “Best Bluegrass Album” Grammy category. The label, created by legendary bluegrass artist Del McCoury in 2004, earned its first bluegrass Grammy in 2005 with the Del McCoury Band‘s The Company We Keep. “Anyone who knows the bluegrass community knows that its members like to debate definitions,” McCoury Music’s General Manager Chris Harris said. “But this is an album that Merle and Del decided to call The Bluegrass Sessions, produced by a bluegrass musician with bluegrass musicians, recorded at a bluegrass studio, released on a bluegrass label, racked under bluegrass in record stores, aired on bluegrass radio, covered by the bluegrass press, and it’s currently in it’s fourth consecutive week at # 1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart. If that’s not enough, even The Washington Post wondered why ‘no one had thought to pair Merle and Bluegrass together before.’ “ McCoury, who holds nine International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Entertainer of the Year awards, expressed his disappointment personally. “Merle did everything in his power to make this record authentic except remove that unique Haggard sound–and that’s something he’s brought to every genre of music he’s ever visited,” McCoury said. “ Merle Haggard could make a polka record, and there’d be no mistaking it’s Merle Haggard.” Album producer Ronnie Reno, a bluegrass veteran who earned his spurs performing with two Bluegrass Hall of Fame artists–father Don Reno’s Reno & Smiley and the legendary Osborne Brothers–before spending some eight years in Haggard’s band, reacted in a more down to earth fashion: “that’s pure b******t.” Recorded at Ricky Skaggs‘ Hendersonville, TN studio, The Bluegrass Sessions features Haggard backed by an all-star–and all-bluegrass–cast of musicians that includes such IBMA award winners as fiddler Aubrey Haynie, dobro player Rob Ickes, guitarist and harmony singer Carl Jackson and Alison Krauss. As veteran mandolin player Marty Stuart, who got his own youthful career start with Hall of Famer Lester Flatt (Flatt & Scruggs) in the 1970s, wrote following the recording sessions, “Merle Haggard has put the blues back into bluegrass. I was honored to be there alongside of him when he did it.” On its release, The Bluegrass Sessions rocketed to the top of Billboard’s bluegrass album chart, racking up the legend’s highest first-week sales for a new release since 2000, and Merle‘s first #1 on any of Billboard’s charts since 1984. The Bluegrass Sessions is currently enjoying it’s 4th consecutive week at the top of the chart. There has been solid support from the Bluegrass media, from the monthly magazines to the increasingly popular Bluegrass Blog, the winner of this year’s IBMA Media Award, in addition to features in mainstream media such as TIME Magazine and major newspapers across the country, “When I contacted NARAS, they would not identify the committee, their Continue reading