At 84-years-old and having suffered health issues recently, it’s hard to blame Kris Kristofferson for wanting to hang it up. His service to art, film, music, and America as an Army Ranger and helicopter pilot is unparalleled and unprecedented, and it’s about time he decided to take it easy.
Another one of The Strangers has reunited with Merle Haggard in the big honky tonk in the sky. Biff Adam—the long-time drummer for Merle Haggard’s backing band passed away in his sleep Saturday evening, March 7th, due to congestive heart failure. He was 83-years-old.
If you thought the story of country music songwriting legend Kris Kristofferson blowing off his own tribute at the 2019 CMA Awards to perform a scheduled show in Davenport, Iowa was a cool story and a sign of the Hall of Famer’s class and character, well the he might have done himself one better a few days before.
One year ago Thursday (4-6), on Merle Haggard’s 79th birthday, the country music legend passed away surrounded by close family on his ranch in California. Merle Haggard left a mark on country music that was unparalleled, and his death still leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of many country music fans.
Adam Lee, Alaska & Madi, Ben Haggard, Big Little Lions, Billie Gant, Blake Turner, Bo Phillips, Chris Acker and the Growing Boys, Don White, Hagfest, Haggard Boxcar Festival, Harley Hamm, Heath Wright and The Hangmen, James Carothers, Jim Paul Blair, Joe's Truck Stop, Johnny Owens & The Buck Fever Band, Josh Morningstar, Maria Carrelli, Merle Haggard, Monica Taylor, Noel Haggard, Pat Hu & The Kentucky River Ramblers, Southgate House Revival, straw boss, The Harold Kennedy Trio, The Strangers, Thorn County
For 40 years, Don Markham was the horn player in Merle Haggard’s backing band, The Strangers. In fact he outlasted every other permanent member in the band, and aside from a few hiatuses throughout the years, was the only constant member. He also played on every single Merle Haggard release since 1974, though you may have not noticed him.