Merle Haggard’s Final Recorded Song, “Kern River Blues,” Is Imbued With Memories

Merle Haggard's Final Recorded Song, "Kern River Blues," Is Imbued With Memories.
Photo: WilleNelsonVEVO / YouTube, Rolling Stone

Down with pneumonia for many months before his unexpected passing, country icon Merle Haggard had one simple goal: to write and record as much music as possible. And he did just that.

Merle Haggard, 1974/ Photograph From AP

Aside from a huge collection of recorded songs spanning his entire career, Haggard was busy finishing up even more. He called this stash “The Archive,” but it hasn’t been released yet – it’ll come out when the time is right. Haggard sadly left us on April 6, 2016.

Since then, his family had to choose what would be his first song released after he was gone. Instead of picking something from “The Archive,” they went with the very last song he recorded, “Kern River Blues,” right after he passed away.

>>READ ALSO: The Story Behind Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home”

This track first played on SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse on May 12th, 2016, and you can find it on iTunes and his website.

“Kern River Blues” looks back on his time in Bakersfield, California, in the late ’70s. Haggard sings about how the city changed a lot during that time.


The song ends with a sad memory for Haggard, “Well, I’m leaving town forever / Kiss an old boxcar goodbye / I dug my blues down in the river / But the old Kern River is dry.”

According to his website, he recorded this final piece at his home on February 9, 2016.

Check out the full song in the video below and tell us what you think in the comments!

We’ll always miss this true country legend.

>>READ ALSO: 10 Things About Merle Haggard You Sould Know


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