Merle Haggard turns 74 today and he's still going strong.   Haggard and his band The Strangers helped created the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster guitars, vocal harmonies, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era.

Haggard made such an impact on country music, in 1997, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame for his song "Okie from Muskogee".

Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and recently accepted the award for lifetime achievement and "outstanding contribution to American culture" from the John F Kennedy Center for performing arts.