New Merle Haggard Song ‘Kern River Blues’ Coming to Thank Fans, Help Homeless
Longtime Merle Haggard fans saddened by the legend's death will receive some solace this week when a new single is released from the late singer.
According to Haggard's website, "Kern River Blues" will premiere Thursday (May 12). During the last few months of his life battling pneumonia, Haggard spent much time in the hospital, where he also wrote his final songs.
"When it was suggested that he not go back on the road and rest at home, he did … while also walking across the road to his studio to record a few nuggets he’d been writing while in the hospital," his website shares. "His final song is titled 'Kern River Blues,' which is about his memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late ‘70s."
After his family received an outpouring of love and support following the icon's death, they decided to release the song as a way to thank his fans. The song will debut on Willie Nelson's SiriusXM channel Willie’s Roadhouse, before it is made available on merlehaggard.com and iTunes. Ten percent of all gross proceeds from the sale of "Kern River Blues" will go to homeless charities.
The last verse of "Kern River Blues" is a powerful one, with imagery of Haggard saying goodbye.
"Well, I’m leaving town forever / Kiss an old boxcar goodbye / Well, I’m leaving town forever / Kiss an old boxcar goodbye / I dug my blues down in the river / But the old Kern River is dry."
"Kern River Blues" was recorded on February 9, 2016 at Haggard's personal recording studio. The legend died on April 6 — his 79th birthday.
Country Stars Remember Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard Dead at 79