Raymond McDonald’s book, Merle Haggard was a Friend of Mine, is complete, and will be out soon. He told our group about it.
Birth of a Book
So many great friends and fans of Merle’s have asked me to write this book about Merle. I’ve completed the manuscript. It’s all good. No negative energy at all. He was a wonderful man and called me a friend and son for over 50 years. This is my tribute to his legacy.Ray McDonald
The art work is a mock up that a close friend has developed, the actual cover will come later this summer. Thanks to all my friends and family for the encouragement.
Kris’ fans have been hoping an autobiography for years. Most of us have accepted that Kris’ life story already exists within the lyrics of his songs. Merle and Kris go back a long way. Their stories are entwined. This book is of special interest to Kris’ fans as it includes a chapter dedicated to the Silver Tongued Devil himself. The chapter is called, “ Why me?”. Ray says that he spoke with Lisa Kristofferson about some of the details, and that Merle loved touring with Kris who went over to Merle’s bus after each show during that last tour. The two icons laughed together – A lot.
Anita, an avid Kris fan, added her thoughts.
Get on up There
Can hardly wait to read it. Kris loved working with Merle and the Strangers in the period before Merle’s untimely death — gone far too soon. He never forgot that Merle had good and generous things to say about him when others were slamming him for his sensual songs, his hippie-looking appearance, and just about everything but his dog, and then only because he didn’t have a dog. Kris was up against Merle for that 1970 Song of the Year award, and when he slammed his head against the pew and was so dazed he was just sitting there, it was Merle who said “get on up there”. And in his acceptance speech, after he thanked Johnny Cash “for making this possible”, Kris paid tribute to Merle by saying “I’m just glad I wasn’t up against ‘Today I Started Loving You Again'” — one talented songwriter acknowledging the excellence of another whom he deeply respected. Of course, Merle took Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Album of the Year at that awards show, so he had a good night. Nonetheless, Merle was never Old Guard Nashville; he always marched proudly to his own drummer.Anita Lay