Country music legend Merle Haggard, 79, passed away of complications from pneumonia, April 6, in his North Carolina home .
Haggard was responsible for writing dozens of #1 songs in his long career, but his biggest was a co-written one called "Okie From Musgokee", the lyrics of which Haggard said were drawn from his frustrations with Vietnam War protesters. Okie is a slang term of endearment for a person who lives in Oklahoma and Musgokee is the 11th largest city in the state.
The song celebrates conservative American values, and opens with the line, "We don't smoke marijuana in Musgokee, " so one could be forgiven for assuming Haggard was against cannabis consumption.
However, in an interview with Men's Journal in August of 2015, Haggard explained that he had changed his mind on cannabis thanks to education, and he can even be seen smoking a substance we assume is pot in his 2015 duet with Willie Nelson called It's All Going To Pot.
"At the time I wrote 'Okie From Muskogee,' I didn't smoke. It was '68. I had been brainwashed like most of America about what marijuana would and wouldn't do. I thought it was responsible for the flower children walking around with their mouths open, said Haggard. "It was not so. But if a guy doesn't learn anything in 50 years, there's something wrong with him. I've learned a lot about it, and America has, too."
For my money, "Daddy Frank" should have been Haggard's biggest hit.
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