Each Wednesday at 8 a.m. I join Cindy and Doug for Country Classic Flashback.  We take a trip down memory lane to highlight a country legend.  This week we are featuring Merle Haggard.

Merle Haggard was born in Bakersfield, California on April 6, 1937.  He is considered a living legend and is the single most influential singer/songwriter in country music history.  In the 1970's he was aligned with the outlaw country movement. He has a long list of great hits including Today I Started Loving You Again, Silver Wings, Mama Tried, Rainbow Stew as well as drinking songs like Closing Time and The Bottle Let Me Down.

Merle was arrested in 1957 after he tried to rob a Bakersfield Road House.  He was sent to jail in Bakersfield but was transferred to San Quentin prison after he tried to escape from the Bakersfield jail.

He has been married five times and has six children.  His second wife was singer Bonnie Owens who was also the former wife of Buck Owens.  In 1978 Merle married Leona Williams and they divorced in 1983.  He married his current wife Theresa Lane on September 11, 1993.

In 1995 he underwent an angioplasty to unblock clogged arteries.  In November of 2008 he was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and underwent surgery  to remove part of his lung.

Tune in every Wednesday at 8 a.m. for the Country Classic Flashback.  It's brought to you by Midwest Machinery on East Highway 23 in Sauk Rapids with eight other locations around Central MN.

For more of your classic favorites tune into the 98 Country Classic Show every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.