About 300 people turned out in Bakersfield, California, to celebrate the naming of a post office for Merle Haggard in his hometown.
The late country music legend’s sister and widow were among those at a Friday (April 7) ceremony near downtown honoring Haggard, who helped create the twangy “Bakersfield Sound.”
The event fell on the two-year anniversary of Haggard’s death — and what would have been his 81st birthday.
Haggard rose from poverty and prison to international fame through his songs about outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride. His hits include “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home.”
Norm Hamlet, who played in Haggard’s band for nearly a half-century, told the Bakersfield Californian newspaper that the singer would’ve been humbled by the honor.