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Merle Haggard spent the last few months of his life battling the pneumonia that finally felled him. During those months, he spent a significant amount of time in the hospital, which caused him to cancel a couple of tours. When it was suggested that he not go back on the road and rest at home, he did…while also walking across the road to his studio to record a few nuggets he’d been writing while in the hospital. His final song is titled “Kern River Blues,” which is about his memories of leaving Bakersfield in the late ‘70s.