Whether you need an interview, photographs, story ideas, media hosting or the scoop on statewide events and attractions, we're here to help.
Living Legend Merle Haggard at FireLake Grand
By Tourism Industry Partner
Shawnee, OK- FireLake Grand is proud to present the legendary country music star Merle Haggard. This “poet of the common man” will share his songs on Saturday, November 13th.
“Very few can claim to have affected country music like Merle Haggard,” commented Brad Peltier, Director of Marketing for FireLake Grand Casino. “His songs reflect his life from his restless searching to his longing for home.”
Like so many others, Merle Haggard’s parents left Oklahoma during the Great Depression and moved to California looking for work. His dad worked as a carpenter for the Santa Fe Railroad, and the family lived in an old boxcar that they made into a home. Merle was born in 1937 just outside of Bakersfield. Unfortunately, Merle’s dad died as a result of a stroke when Merle was only nine. He had been close to his dad, and the loss was devastating for him. Merle rebelled and ran away from home the first time when he was only ten years old. Trouble seemed to find him after that, and he was in and out of reform schools.
The one comforting factor in Merle’s life was music. He had inherited a musical talent from his father who had played fiddle and guitar. By age 15 Merle left home and was making some money from his music, but he continued to find trouble. He was in and out of jail, and by age 20 Merle was in San Quentin. He said the confinement made him appreciate freedom all the more. When he got out of prison in 1960, he joined the country music scene.
Merle found success by writing songs about his life--the good times as well as the trials, and by doing so spoke to the hearts of country music fans. He has written hundreds of songs including: “Sing Me Back Home,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “Workin’ Man Blues,” and “Silver Wings.” Over the last 50 years, his songs have often been at the top of the charts. He has over 40 number one hits and many music awards for both song writing and performing. In 1994, he earned a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Tickets will go fast, so call 405-96-Grand, or log on to www.firelakegrand.com today!
Presented with pride by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, FireLake Grand Casino features more than 1,800 Vegas-style games in the beautiful 125,000 square foot facility, from the hottest slot machines to some 100 table games. As all games are designated “Class 3, Oklahoma Compact,” six percent of FireLake Grand’s net gaming revenue goes to support the state’s public education. Dining options range from sizzling steaks at Embers Steakhouse to the exciting Grandstand Sports Grille and The Grand Buffet, or for a drink in a relaxing atmosphere meet friends at the all new outdoor Fireside Lounge. The Casino is conveniently located just east of Oklahoma City on Interstate 40 at Exit 178.