Merle Haggard’s health woes force his family to make a drastic request AP Images
AP Images

Merle Haggard’s health problems have kept him off the road for the past few months, and his family is hoping the 78-year-old superstar will make the decision to stay off the road for good.

In a new interview with “Garden & Gun,” Merle admits his family has asked him to retire from the touring life, but he feels like he just can’t stop playing shows.

Says Merle, “I feel it’s a double-edged sword. It’s what keeps me alive, and it’s what fucks up my life. It’s hard to have a family, so I try and split it up. I try to build a life here [at home] of a reasonable sort, and then go jump on the bus.”

Merle is like many stars of his generation, including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn, who have no plans to retire from the road even though they are well past the traditional retirement age.

As it stands now, Merle is slated to return to the road playing a show with Willie Nelson on April 7 in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The Country Music Hall of Fame member has canceled several shows in the past few months due to an ongoing case of double pneumonia.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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