Veteran country singer Merle Haggard, known for hits such as "Mama Tried" & "Swinging Doors," is still not well and he's in need of prayers. Haggard has canceled two concerts this weekend in New Mexico as a result of a continuing battle with double pneumonia.
His son Ben Haggard informs: "Clear up something. Dad isn't sick again, he's just still recovering from pneumonia. Takes awhile to get back to normal!"
Haggard, who underwent lung cancer surgery in 2008, canceled a series of concerts in December after being hospitalized in California.
In a Dec. 16 phone interview which aired on Sirius XM's Willie's Roadhouse channel, he indicated the severity of his illness.
"A couple of weeks ago, I came in the hospital here and I guess I was nearly dead," he said. "They couldn't tell whether the cancer had returned or whether I just had pneumonia. They had to wait until they got the pneumonia under control before we could tell. So it's been kind of a tough couple of weeks. but I've got so many people to thank."
Haggard's concert cancellations in New Mexico include Saturday (Jan. 30) at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero and Sunday at the Farmington Civic Center Ballroom in Farmington.
Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era. By the 1970s, Haggard was aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and has continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s. In 1994, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.