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Merle Haggard's life would make a great country music biopic -- if only one could exist today

Merle Haggard's life would make a great country music biopic -- if only one could exist today

The death of Merle Haggard on Wednesday marked the end of an era, or at least a piece of an era. At a moment when singers were beginning to use music as a class-conscious weapon, Haggard wielded it with a sharp potency. Listening to "Okie From Muskogee" with the hindsight of 2016, one is struck how much, beneath its laid-back rhythms, Haggard is seething he is about the protest movement of the 1960s. It's a song that's angry about anger, really.

The Bakersfield Sound pioneer's back story was also unique -- jailhouse escapes, violent love triangles,...

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