Marty Haggard Keeps Family Tradition He Loves


Marty Haggard

Jimplecute Editor

When Marty Haggard takes the stage of Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards Friday, Nov. 2, you’ll get to hear quite a few of Merle Haggard’s top hits. “Mama Tried,” “Silver Wings” and “The Fighting Side of Me” will pour out of a man, unlike many sons of famous men, who admires his father and his music. “I love my dad’s music,” Marty told the Jimplecute. “I do some of his and some of mine.

This is a tribute to my dad kind of show, so I will be doing primarily his music.” In the song, “Lefty, Merle and Me,” Marty Haggard and David Frizzell team up. One line declares, “I’ll sing his songs till I die.” “That’s a boast on both of our parts,” Marty said. “David loved Merle and I loved Lefty (Frizzell). They made our love for music a natural.”

Marty is also appreciative of what country music has done for him. “It’s been great to me,” Marty said. “I’ve been doing it since 20 and I’m 60 now. It’s not something that I did because my dad did. I was drawn to it.” Marty also got into the business with low expectations.

“I never cared much for being a star,” he said. “If you do it for the love of music, you really can’t go wrong.” Haggard will return to Jefferson for the first time since he and his wife honeymooned here 20 years ago in a bed and breakfast. Haggard also expressed admiration for the international acts willing to face the exposure of competition and run the risk of failure.

“I’ve always wondered how somebody could do that,” Haggard said. Performances on the Texas Sounds stage in Bateman’s Alley begin at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Gates open 30 minutes before each performance.

As in past years international acts are clamoring to compete for the event’s awards. The entertainers include Ilya Portnov of Russia, Laura Denisse from Mexico, HunTer Leite – South Africa, Vane Ruth – Argentina, Max Tyler – Spain, Sentiment Falls – Sweden, Bound By Law – Denmark, Luis Ochoa – Mexico, Sarah Lucy Dole – United Kingdom, The Wild Horses – Spain, Alamo Country Band – Mexico, Mark Carlisle Harrell – Texas/Canada and Rúnar Eff – Iceland. Jefferson residents may recognize Harrell who was reared here.

Mark now lives in Canada, making his living as a full-time professional musician. He has written and composed music for the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Travel Channel and Cinemax productions and still returns to his roots in Jefferson.

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