Merle Haggard is on the Mend
Merle Haggard is home from the hospital, following lung surgery. His publicist reveals that the 71-year-old country legend had non-small cell lung cancer, which has a better rate of survival than small cell cancer. Tests show that doctors were able to remove the affected tissue in the successful surgery, and the Hag has no more signs of cancer.
"Due to the surgeon, Dr. Peck, the Tylenol pushers on the fourth floor of the Memorial Hospital, and most of all, my wife Theresa, I'm feeling good ... better and better each day," Haggard writes in a statement. "I'd sure like to know who controls the largest shares of Tylenol. God forbid it be the oil companies!"
Haggard's publicist says that when he woke up after surgery, he opened his eyes, yodeled and smiled. He's now resting and recovering comfortably at his home in Bakersfield, Calif.
Haggard was a pioneer of country music's 'Bakersfield Sound' and a key member of the '70s country outlaw movement, alongside buddies Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Haggard has had 38 No. 1 hits in a career that has spanned over 40 years. Some of his best-loved songs include 'Okie from Muskogee,' 'Mama Tried,' 'The Fightin' Side of Me' and 'Carolyn.'