What: Merle Haggard
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13
Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
"The poet of the common man," Merle Haggard, returns to Chattanooga for a show Wednesday night at the Tivoli Theatre.
He earned the title by writing and recording songs that spoke to the average, hard-working American who sometimes found himself on hard times. He has 38 No. 1 hits, including "Mama Tried," "The Fightin' Side of Me," "Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)" and "Things Aren't Funny Anymore," to his credit.
One of his most popular is 1969's "Okie from Muskogee," a song he said he began writing as a joke. It turned into an anthem for the us-vs.-them types who identified with his lyrics about not smoking marijuana, burning draft cards or growing long and shaggy hair.
With his unusual twangy guitar sound, he along with Buck Owens helped create what would become known as the Bakersfield sound.
He is also identified with the "outlaw country" sound and, despite his tremendous success, has always been thought of as a maverick.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 1994.