On the heels of news that Merle Haggard died today, April 6, 2016, on his 79th birthday, the cable channel AXS TV announced plans for a tribute to the country music legend.
The tribute launches Friday, April 8, and will include a special airing of Dan Rather’s “The Big Interview” with Haggard on April 8 at 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT. The episode, which originally aired Sept. 30, 2013, will have additional airings on Sat., April 9, at 9 a.m. ET and Sunday, April 10, at 8 a.m. ET.
AXS TV will also air the 2004 concert “Merle Haggard — Live at Billy Bob’s Texas” as part of the tribute on Friday, April 8, at 12:30 p.m./9:30 a.m. PT. The concert features such songs as “Ol’ Country Singer,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Natural High,” and airs again on Sat., April 9, at 10 a.m. ET.
“For more than 50 years Haggard has been singing a style of country western music that he helped pioneer,” AXS TV said in a release. “Haggard rarely grants interviews but before a performance at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in North Carolina, Haggard sat down for an extended conversation with Dan Rather, speaking candidly about everything from his time in prison to his politics, touring with Bob Dylan, and his biggest fear in life.”
Here’s a clip from “The Big Interview” …