Flashback: Merle Haggard Sings an Emotional ‘If I Could Only Fly’ – by Des Kelly In my book, “The Hag” was quite definitely “The Best” Country Icon. Where there were plenty of these fantastic Icons of Country Music, Merle Haggard stood out, in that he wasn’t just a Vocalist, but also a fine Fiddle-player, a great guitarist, a competent Composer of Country songs, respected band leader, who could sing both happy and sad songs with equal ease, making lovers of good music want to listen to them over and over again. Desmond Kelly. (Editor-in-Chief) e’Lanka. Flashback: Merle Haggard Sings an Emotional ‘If I Could Only Fly’-by Stephen L. Betts Source:Merle Haggard On April 6th, 2016, his 79th birthday, country music icon Merle Haggard died at his home in California’s San Joaquin Valley after a battle with pneumonia. In the three years since his passing, Haggard’s already sizeable legacy continues to inspire country ...

Read More →

“IN A NUTSHELL” – by Des Kelly   Famous American Actor Humphrey Bogart was born on Monday January 23rd 1899, died on January 14th 1957, aged just 57+. However, Warner Brothers Pictures claimed that Bogart was born on Christmas day, 1899, in order to romanticize his background. Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright & poet (Oct.16th, 1854- Nov. 30th 1900),changed his birth year- 1856 Like his Character Dorian Gray, Wilde was vain about his personal appearance, and feared becoming old. Top Country Music Star Merle Haggard, whose music sits somewhere on the moon today, had an older brother, Francis, with whom he had fallen out for a long period. This was a little too late, but soon after Francis passed away, Merle wrote a song dedicated to him, titled “Listening to the wind” Merle sings this song, as only he can, and listening to the wind is an important lesson learned. Desmond ...

Read More →

“A COUNTRY LIVING LEGEND” – by Des Kelly HE IS ONE OF A VERY FEW ACTUAL LIVING LEGENDS OF COUNTRY MUSIC, OR THE “MUSIC OF LIFE”, AS I REFER TO IT. HAS BEEN AROUND WITH PAST ICONS (IN MY BOOK), SUCH AS MERLE HAGGARD, GEORGE JONES, RAY PRICE, AND CHARLEY PRIDE, TO NAME JUST A FEW, STILL PLAYS AN ACOUSTIC/ELECTRIC GUITAR THAT HAS CERTAINLY SEEN BETTER DAYS, NAMED TRIGGER (AFTER ROY ROGER’S HORSE), HAS “BEEN THERE & DONE THAT”, WITH THE BEST OF THEM, INCLUDING THE LATE, GREAT WAYLON JENNINGS, HE CERTAINLY LOOKS THE PART, AND HIS AGE, AND DOES NOT EVER BOTHER TO EVEN TRY TO LOOK ANY YOUNGER THAN HE IS, ALTHOUGH WILLIE NELSON WAS QUITE A HANDSOME YOUNG DUDE DURING HIS HALCYON DAYS, QUITE A FEW YEARS AGO. WHAT STRUCK ME ABOUT WILLIE NELSON WAS HIS “STYLE” OF SINGING. SURE, HIS TONES ARE SLIGHTLY MORE NASAL THAN ...

Read More →

“LANKAN STORIES TO PONDER” – by Des Kelly So, it is back again, to why I consider Country Music to be verily, the “Stories Of Life”. Because I now write especially for e’Lanka, my thoughts are increasingly drawn back to Lankans in general, now resident in many parts of the World, whether they want to be or not, and I think of the less affluent members of the Country named Ceylon, myself being one of them, and how we had to live, mostly in rented houses, flats, etc., paying monthly rents with the greatest difficulty, but then, still better off than most of the “drifters” who had to “make do” in wattle & daub huts, and as the title of this particular story goes, “Under the Bridge”. Merle Haggard, my Master of Country Music, wrote, recorded, and performed songs relating to just these very idiosyncrasies of life, following up with ...

Read More →

“LOVE SONGS, LANKAN STYLE” – by Des Kelly      I chanced to hear this video and decided that THIS was a type of music that would be enjoyed by all the good members of e’Lanka, everywhere. They are a Dutch band, this group called The Locomotions, and I had never even heard of them, but then, my forte’ being American 80’s and 90’s style Country Music, I tend to feature legends like Merle Haggard, George Jones and the like, but suddenly, as I was watching You-Tube Music Videos, The Locomotions popped up, and, as I do, I decided that because we are now in “Escape-Mode” in Melbourne, after weeks of Lock-down, this was a good time to get the folk back dancing to some good music, so here they are, my friends, “The Locomotions Compilatie Love Songs”, especially for you. Hope you enjoy this video. Desmond Kelly. (Editor-in-Chief) e’Lanka. ...

Read More →

“A WORLD WITHOUT HAGGARD” – By Des Kelly He was born in America on the 6th day of April, 1937, spent most of his young years breaking out of disciplinary institutions, and later, jails, for insisting that “breaking the law” was something he wanted to do, and did, until he met, for the first time, the man in black, Johnny Cash, in the process of doing a concert especially for jail inmates. Johnny advised this headstrong young man to quit crime and do something worthwhile, rather than spend his entire life behind bars. Merle Haggard decided to take this good advice and ended up as one of the greatest Country-Music Stars that America has ever seen. He died on his 79th birthday, 6th April, 2016. Vince Gill, another famous Star in the American Country Sky, is a superb Session Guitarist, Vocalist, and even more importantly, a Songwriter, penned this tribute ...

Read More →

               “ADVICE FROM ELVIS” – by Des Kelly He was taken away far too early, but as my good friend Chris Lawton also knows, Elvis, like so many “Stars” of Show-biz., also started their careers  singing Gospel songs, giving the World around them sound advice on how to live their lives. This generally came from watching their own parents, grand-parents, etcetera, live life under much more strife than themselves, and still adhere to the words written in the Bible, commonly also referred to, as the Word of God.  Country Stars such as Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and even “Rockers” like Jerry Lee Lewis, all started their careers by recording simple Gospel songs, and although Elvis was the exemption,ribute to Jesus Christ and the Holy Christian Family.  ...

Read More →

    “THE HAG” – By Des Kelly Quite possibly, one of the best know names in “Country Music”, certainly, one of my top favourites, he was a Songwriter, Singer, fiddle-player, and guitarist, all in one, and, like so many other great Country Icons of America, had a tough life, not only before he became a “Star”, but even after~ when many pretty young ladies (he married five of them), gave him a hard time, trying to keep him toeing the line, which he refused to do, even when it was for his own good. I have always admired Merle Haggard, God rest his Soul, as he died exactly 79 years after he was born, he passed on to the old Opry in the sky, on his 79th birthday.           There are definitely many more amazing things about this guy, who will always be fondly remembered ...

Read More →