Fact: Country icon and cannabis advocate Willie Nelson is teaming up with his longtime friend and collaborator Merle Haggard for a new album of duets, titled Django & Jimmy. The pair, which recorded with Kris Kristofferson for another full-length project last year (14), will release It's All Going to Pot as the first single from the disc on 20 April (15), the unofficial holiday for marijuana lovers.
Fact: Country music veteran Merle Haggard is to receive a special honour at the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Haggard, who is already a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, is to be presented with the Crystal Milestone Award at the ceremony in April (14) to mark his 50th anniversary in the industry.
Quote: "I was planning to attend his final concert, in Nashville, this November. They had 100 meet-and-greet tickets that they were selling for $1,000 apiece, and I bought two of them. There's not that many of us singers left. There was me, Ray Price, Willie and George. And we lost part of our quartet." Country legend Merle Haggard on the death of old pal George Jones.
Fact: Country music icon Merle Haggard is the latest star to join Twitter.com. Posting to the social networking site on Tuesday (10Apr12), he tweeted, "Greetings all participators, especially all you sweet potaters (sic). There's always something new... Any songwriters find a rhyme for that?"
Quote: "Oprah and I had some funny things happen. She leaned over to me one time during the presentation and said, 'We came the farthest'. She sent me some gifts when I got home. There was a six-pack of some of the most expensive champagne I've seen in my life. She's quite a lady." Country legend Merle Haggard on making friends with fellow Kennedy Centers Honors inductee Oprah Winfrey at the December (10) event.
Quote: "You can't forget that he wrote those songs. That kept going through my mind: 'I'm an aspiring songwriter and sat beside the guy that wrote Yesterday. I recorded that.' Some guys are famous for some songs you don't remember, but that's not the case there. When they started Hey Jude, with this wonderful orchestra, the building came apart. Everybody in the audience was singing it. It was a chiller." Country legend Merle Haggard on sharing the stage with Sir Paul McCartney at the Kennedy Center Honors earlier this month (Dec10).
Fact: Country veteran Merle Haggard has postponed an upcoming concert in Arizona due to a "scheduling conflict". The singer was due to play a gig at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa on Thursday (07Jan10), but the performance will now take place on 9 May (10).
Quote: "I don't see the point of the internet. I know that it has a great deal of information, but it also has a lot that we don't need that people are getting stuck on." Veteran country singer Merle Haggard stays away from the worldwide web.
Quote: "Willie Nelson's the one who told me the reason it costs so much to get divorced is because it's worth it." Country legend Merle Haggard remembers his famous friend's wise words.
Quote: "Touring for me is like swimming - it's really good exercise and good for the health." Country star Merle Haggard has no plans to retire from performing live when he turns 70 on 6 April (07).