Wow. Merle Haggard has passed on. One of the greatest singers, and arguably the best songwriter ever. His influence is immeasurable. Go to any club or concert and you'll most likely hear a Haggard song. A couple of my most memorable moments involved Merle. I had never met him. I walked up to introduce myself. Before I could even speak, he said "Hi Joe, I'm Merle Haggard." I was floored that Merle Haggard knew my name!!!! Another time, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence and myself went to his house and got to hang out while he and his band rehearsed. A private concert!! He sang impeccably. What a memory. Last one: I was was walking with George Jones backstage at the Opry house during the CMA awards. Merle was walking toward us. They stopped and hugged. Then they started singing Yesterday's Wine. I joined in. I wish it had been recorded. I still get chills thinking about it. Thank you Merle, for the memories.