Willie Nelson’s SiriusXM channel, Willie’s Roadhouse, will honor his friend, the legendary musician Merle Haggard, and temporarily be renamed “Merle’s Roadhouse” for a weekend of special tributes.
Following the death of Haggard on his 79th birthday, April 6, Willie’s Roadhouse programmed 12 continuous hours of non-stop Haggard music, taking calls from heartbroken listeners and country music artists.
Willie himself called in during his daughter Paula Nelson’s show, and said “It’s not a happy day for any of us out there, and we all are with Merle’s family and friends and loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
The live tribute also featured a long list of artists, friends and fans sharing memories of Haggard, including Reba, Vince Gill, Bobby Bare, Bill Anderson, Jamey Johnson, Lorrie Morgan, Gene Watson, Moe Bandy, Johnny Bush, Jeannie Seely, Rhonda Vincent, actor W. Earl Brown and Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry & Jeff Cook of Alabama.
“Merle’s Roadhouse” weekend programming will also include an encore broadcast of the Django & Jimmie album special hosted by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, which was recorded when the album was released in 2015; a two-hour special dubbed “Feeling Haggard” hosted by Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel; and a one-hour 2003 conversation between Haggard and Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson from his “Bill Anderson Visits with the Legends” show.
As well, SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country will broadcast special editions of Steve Earle’s weekly show, Hardcore Troubadour Radio, Shooter Jennings’ “Electric Rodeo” and Johnny Knoxville and Roger Alan Wade’s weekly show Big Ass Happy Family Jubilee paying tribute to Haggard.
“Merle’s Roadhouse” will launch Friday, April 8 at 6:00 pm ET and will air through Sunday night on SiriusXM channel 59 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.ca.