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“I am incredibly saddened by the passing of my dear friend, Merle
Haggard….today, of all days…on his 79th birthday. I first met Merle
while working with The Osborne Brothers. I worked with Merle for about 8
years and we went through so much together. There were good times, and
there were other times….well….that only he and I could laugh about. He
loved to hear me laugh, for some reason. He would call me up just to
hear me laugh when he needing some cheering. We always clicked and had a
I was hoping to see him last month in Nashville, but he fell ill and
I’ve been praying and talking with him often throughout this time.
Today, I was contacted by the family and found out that Merle had
expressed his desire to have me sing “Life’s Railway to Heaven” at the
funeral. What a fitting song for such an amazing man. He leaves an
enormous legacy and will be truly missed. “
—Ronnie Reno, Artist/Producer, Host of "Reno's Old Time Music" (RFD-TV), SPBGMA Preservation Hall of Fame Inductee