COUNTRY MUSIC'S AWARD-WINNING and BESTSELLING recording artist, Merle Haggard
brings us his long awaited_new autobiography, Merle Haggard's My House of Memories-
a riveting account of Haggard's extremely turbulent and successful life. Picking
up where his 1992 autobiography, Sing Me Home left off, Haggard recounts his
earliest childhood memories, revealing-previously untold stories about his birth
and troubled upbringing in a converted railroad boxcar. He recalls the innocence
of the 1950s, when a boy could safely ride the rails with hobos and share their
transient camps. He talks about his father's death when Merle was nine and how
his childish disobedience soon erupted into full-blown delinquency.
In a thrilling narrative, he takes us on several high speed getaways from the
California law and straight inside the state's homes for the criminally delinquent.
On his nineteenth birthday we follow him inside San Quentin and read a chilling
account about a cell mate who begs Merle to join him in an escape that ultimately
ends with the man's death. Haggard also recalls his befriending of Caryl Chessman,
the notorious 1950s serial rapist and the time they shared before Chessman's
Having lived a life marked by violence, gambling. and drugs, Merle shares the
lessons he learned and how he continues to pay for decades of reckless living.
He discloses that after earning more than a hundred million dollars, he's virtually
broke. Merle reflects on how he felt at that bittersweet hour seven years ago, as
he stood at his wife's bedside during the delivery of their son and was served
bankruptcy papers. And he recalls his family's move into a house so decayed that
cattle literally roamed, inside. He still lives there, amid improvements. today.
Haggard relives the painful memory of the death of his mother, who a year earlier,
unbeknownst to him had written her life story in longhand. He reveals his
astonishment at learning of her 1906 covered-wagon journey at age four, from
Arkansas to Oklahoma. And how she had to live underground in an earthen dugout.
Merle had never known of his mother's life in the southwest and the fears and
hardships she face.
As one of the industry's most respected artists, Merle Haggard still makes music
for music's sake and_does it with the enthusiasm of an apprentice. He plays several
hours a day, every day, on and off the stage and speaks of the emotional salvation
the eight notes of the musical scale afford him.
My House of Memories captures the triumph of the human spirit, through the power
of persistence, through the power of love he finally discovered during his fifth
marriage, and through the unsurpassed joy of reentering fatherhood at age
fifty-four. It is an exciting and moving account of the tumultuous life of a
songwriter, singer, guitarist and arranger whose words have earned him international
renown as the poet of the common man.
MERLE HAGGARD is the author of Sing Me Back Home. He has recorded forty-one number
TOM CARTER is a Nashville journalist who has collaborated on auto-biographies
of major country superstars including Glen Campbell, Ralph Emery, Reba McIntire
and George Jones.