Merle Haggard (April 6, 1937 in Bakersfield, California) is an American country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Also known as "The Hag."
Emerging from prison in the 1960s, Haggard was one of the early innovators of the Bakersfield Sound. With his hard biting electric guitar, he almost single-handedly introduced country to the electric sound. By the 1970s, he was aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and has continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s. Haggard has been one of the best and most influential songwriters in country music since Hank Williams. His work in familiar country themes - jail, betrayal, drinking and wandering - include a directness that reflects his own life experience. His deep, grumbling, voice and dazzling guitar work gives his country a blues-like quality in many cuts.