Merle Haggard Unexpectedly Takes Stage Again After Illness


The see-sawing of Merle Haggard’s health and touring schedule continues. After canceling all tour dates in December due to a double pneumonia, and then some additional dates in January, Merle tried to take the stage at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside, California last Tuesday (2-2) before canceling last minute. Merle said he still wasn’t feeling up to it, and was still recovering from the December health woes. “Thank you to the fans who came out tonight in riverside! Sadly I’m just not strong enough yet,” Merle said.

Later it was announced by Haggard’s publicist that all February dates would be canceled to aid Merle’s continued recovery. The publicist said Merle was “still feeling weak from his recent struggle with double pneumonia and has decided to seek further treatment.”

But apparently tour plans have changed yet again, and Merle is feeling good enough to perform. On Saturday (6-6), Haggard took the stage at the Mandalay Bay Ballroom in Las Vegas, despite the news his performing plans were put on hold. Toby Keith even made a guest appearance, and spend 30 minutes on stage with Haggard.

Merle Haggard also has additional shows in California coming up this week, including Santa Rosa on Wednesday (2-10), Beverley Hills on Thursday (2-11) with Kris Kristofferson, and Saturday in Oakland. Some of these dates were rescheduled from when Merle was sick in December.

Meanwhile there’s been no official word from either Merle’s publicity team, or posted on his social network feeds. Merle’s son and guitar player Ben Haggard has also been quiet on the matter. Fans would be encouraged to call ahead to venues to confirm if Merle is still scheduled to appear the day of the performance as he continues to work through his health woes.