SONS & DAUGHTERS – By Des Kelly
Sons & daughters of the “Stars”. Fascinating subject about the “apples that fall closest to the tree”. Recently, in a series of articles I have written about this very subject, I chose to feature not one, but THREE sons of the late, great Merle Haggard, Marty, Noel, & young Ben, who, not only resemble “The Hag” as he was called, but also sing & play guitar (as Ben does), with a talent born & bred, naturally, in them. Strangely, as the story goes, Merle did not have too much time to spend with these talented boys, as they grew up. He was too busy “on the road” & when, not touring, he was too busy “getting married” & “producing” his “Haggard Hierarchy”.
Merle Haggard married FIVE times. His first marriage was to Leona Hobbs, had 4 children, Dana, Marty, Kelli & Noel, then divorced Leona in 1965, and later, the same year, married Bonnie Owens, past wife of Buck Owens (another great Country Singer), for 13 years, claiming that it was indeed Bonnie who helped him in his meteoric rise to fame. She also looked after his four “other children” and, when he finally divorced Bonnie in 1978 to marry another Leona(this time, Leona Williams), which lasted a further stormy 5 years, believe it or not, was the Maid of Honour when he married Debbie Parret in 1985, only to divorce her in 1991, marry Thersa Ann Lane in 1993, to produce his final two children, Janessa & Ben. From all this, it seems to me that Merle Haggard was restless soul, striving for greatness that, according to America, he ALREADY HAD.!!
This has been a look at the personal story of one of the greatest Stars of Country Music in America. A star that still shines in the talent of his 3 sons, Marty, Noel & Ben. I do try to feature the very best in music of ALL tastes, for readers of eLanka, and will continue to do so, God willing. Please enjoy more songs (ex you-tube), & treat this as a “series” in the same vein, especially for you. Please enjoy my “Stories-in-Song”, folks. Music like this will certainly take your mind off this Mad World we live in, at the moment.
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