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Up Close with Jerry Haggard

(Interviewed on September 17, 2004)

Swamp RatGenre: Country

Oklahoma Singer Songwriter

PC: When did you begin your music career? 

JH: Around the age of 11, I began trying to write country songs. I listened to a lot of bluegrass, western swing and traditional country at that time. About the age of 13, I took a few fiddle lessons and learned several guitar chords. A few years later, I played some fiddle in a few local fiddle contests and with some night club bands. I eventually wrote enough songs that I decided to start performing them onstage in some local clubs and honky tonks. Having my own honky tonk band soon followed, as did trips to write songs in Nashville. 

PC: Who are your main musical influences? 

JH: I would have to say Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Merle Haggard, Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys, Steve Earle, Waylon Jennings, George Jones. 

PC: What approach do you take when writing your songs? Do you have any specific routine? 

JH: I usually get an idea or "hook", and then write the chord progression around the same time that the lyrics start to flow. I may put the guitar down for a little while and jot down some ideas on paper, and hopefully finish the song. 

PC: Where can someone get a copy of your CD "Let it Ride"? 

JH: The CD can be purchased at, , or by simply contacting me via email, at my website, 

PC: (Texas & Red Dirt Music artist is like one big family, everyone helps each other out)is this true? 

JH: I think that is true. All the Texas artists and the red dirt Okie artists seem to get along and help each other out, which is really cool. 

PC: If you had to pick a couple of songs you have written that you are most proud of, what would they be and why? 

JH: One song I've always been proud of is called "Maybe Someday", a song I wrote alone. It talks about those Oklahoma backroads and a long lost love. Its always gotten a good crowd response and was one of the first really cool songs that I wrote. It was recently recorded by a new indie Oklahoma artist, Rachel Raye. It will be on her upcoming 2004 album. The other song I'm especially proud of is "Loving Over", cowritten with Nashville hit songwriter, Byron Hill. Byron has had numerous country radio hits and was great to meet and work with. He is well known in Nashville for his writing, and is a super nice guy. 

PC: Where do you see yourself in five years? 

JH: Writing and getting several album cuts by Texas and Nashville artists, and having chart success as a songwriter, with a few country radio singles. 

PC: Do you have a preference when it comes to playing, whether it's acoustic or electric? 

JH: always acoustic.

PC: What's your fondest career memory so far? 

JH: Whew, that's a tough one! I have so many memories playing music and meeting musicians. I would have to say a great memory was when I was called onstage one night & helped perform "Big Shot Rich Man", with Jason Boland & the Stragglers, at a Tulsa,OK. show. I had many friends in the crowd who were cheering and screaming loud! Meeting or watching a high energy JBS show is a real thrill. Also, one night I met and talked with Randy Crouch backstage at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa,OK. It was after a wild red dirt show. That was a blast! 

PC: What CD would be found in your CD player right now? 

JH: Live & Lit at Billy Bob's Texas, by Jason Boland & the Stragglers.




Jerry Haggard's Music
"Let It Ride" CD

  1. 50/50 Chance

  2. Goldmine

  3. Back to Tulsa

  4. Longneck & A Redneck

  5. My #1 Fan

  6. Let It Ride

  7. Move Back to the Country

  8. Band of Angels

  9. Could You Ever Love A Stranger?

  10. Straight Towards Forever


Jerry Haggard is an ASCAP songwriter, from northeast Oklahoma.

Jerry's musical influences include Merle Haggard, Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, Steve Earle, Waylon Jennings, and Jason Boland & The Stragglers.

Since 1998, Jerry has performed his unique style of original red dirt country music in Oklahoma, Arkansas, & Tennessee.

In 1999, Jerry released an independent CD, Let It Ride, featuring 10 original songs. Since there was no major record label backing, it was met with minimal success.

Since then, Jerry has performed onstage and/or opened for the following red dirt & Texas musicians: Macon Greyson, Travis Kidd, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Runnin' On Empty Band, TJ McFarland, Amanda Cunningham, Mike McClure Band.

Jerry has also cowritten together with Nashville hit songwriter, Byron Hill.

Currently, Jerry is writing and pitching his songs to various Nashville recording artists & publishers.

For More Information on Jerry Haggard visit his web site at Jerry Haggard

 Or check out Jerry Haggard on

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2003-2004 Texas Red Dirt Singers Songwriters Monthly   Philip W. Corder