This story has been updated.
The 78-year-old Merle Haggard continues to suffer from serious heath issues that have resulted in him canceling upcoming shows. Scheduled to perform in New Mexico at the Inn of the Mountain Gods and the Farmington Civic Center on January 30th and 31st, Haggard has canceled both dates due to continued issues from double pneumonia. The news was confirmed on Thursday (1-28) by Haggard’s son and guitar player Ben Haggard.
UPDATE: According to Ben Haggard, Merle’s continued health issues are due to the original double pneumonia and additional recovery time, not a new bout with the illness.
Merle was forced to cancel a series of shows in December after he tried to take the stage in California and couldn’t. Merle ended up canceling all his remaining dates in December. Gene Autry’s widow Jackie convinced Haggard to check himself into the hospital where the double pneumonia was diagnosed. “I guess I was nearly dead,” Haggard later said about his condition. “They couldn’t tell whether I had Cancer returned or whether I just had pneumonia. They had to wait until they had the pneumonia under control before we could tell. So it’s been kind of a tough couple of weeks.”
Merle was diagnosed with lung Cancer in May of 2008, and had surgery to remove part of the upper lobe of his right lung that had a lemon-sized tumor growing on it.
Once again concerned fans are sending their thoughts and prayers to the ailing country star, who said the concerns helped him recover the last time. “There’s been prayers from all over the world and I want to thank the fans for doing that because it certainly got the job done.”
Also ailing is Mel Tillis, who underwent colon surgery recently. Last week, a rumor spread on the internet that after the surgery Mel was in critical condition, and there was serious concern for the 83-year-old. However a spokesperson later said that those reports were exacerbated, and Mel was recovering fine. However since then, Mel’s daughter and fellow country music performer Pam Tillis says her father’s recovery has taken a turn for the worse. “Dad is not healing as quickly as we would like,” Pam said. “We ask for your continued prayers and we’ll update everyone soon….he’s a trooper.”