Country Music Historian and Professor of Music Business Dr. Don Cusic was interviewed by NPR “Here and Now’s” Jeremy Hobson for OPB’s “Thinking Out Loud” on Wednesday, April 6 after the death of country music legend Merle Haggard.
Of the man who is thought to have actually lived the life of the lyrics heard in country music songs, Cusic said, “Well he was one of country’s greatest singer/songwriters, up there with Hank Williams. That’s how good he was. That’s his legacy. He was a working man. If he had not been a singer, he would have been a manual laborer. That was just his life. He was a genius at writing songs, but he was a good ‘ol boy, too. He was what he sang.”
Additionally, Cusic talked about Haggard’s legacy on PBS NewsHour on Wednesday. “If ever there was a poster boy for prison reform and prison rehabilitation, Merle Haggard would be exhibit A.”