The word “legend” usually makes an appearance at some point when discussing Merle Haggard. It’s an acknowledgment of his artistry and his standing as “the poet of the common man.” It’s a tribute to his incredible commercial success and to the lasting mark he has made, not just on country music, but on American music as a whole. “I’d be more comfortable with something like ‘professor,’” he once told a reporter, and the description suits him. Studying, analyzing and observing the details of life around him, Haggard relays what he sees, hears and feels through his songs. The lyrics are deceptively simple, the music exceptionally listenable, but Haggard’s real gift is that anyone who hears his songs recognizes the truth in them. Producer Don Was, who has worked with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and Bonnie Raitt, told Newsweek in 1996, “He’ll tell you he’s a country singer, but to me the essence of rock and roll is a cry for freedom and rebellion. And I don’t know anyone who embodies it better. Every aspect of his life is a refusal to submit.”
Event Days: Sun. Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat.
Event Hours: Gates 6:30pm / Show 7:30pm
Admission: Garden Members $45 / General Public $50 / Children (ages 3-12) $35
Location: Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
Address: 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, Salt Lake City