Merle Haggard Museum and Restaurant to Open in Nashville Next Year

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A Merle Haggard museum and meat and three is set to open in Nashville next summer, reports Nash Country Daily.

The museum and restaurant will open next door to the Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline museums downtown on Third Avenue South. As with the other two museums, Icon Entertainment is behind the new venture.

The Cash and Cline museums are among Nashville’s top tourist destinations, according to Forbes. The Cash museum opened in 2013 and the Cline museum opened earlier this year on the second floor of the Cash museum.

Merle’s Meat + 3 Saloon, a bar and restaurant offering Southern dishes, will be located under the museum devoted to Haggard’s career. The museum will showcase instruments, awards, outfits and other things that belonged to the late musician.

His widow, Theresa Haggard, has been involved in getting displays ready for the museum.

“Merle would be very happy knowing that his museum will be next door to his dear friend, Johnny Cash,” she said, according to Nash Country Daily. “I’m sure he is up there smiling about that.”

Born in 1937, Haggard was raised in Depression-era California, where he lived with his family in a box car they made into a home. His father, who died when Haggard was a boy, had played the fiddle and guitar and Haggard taught himself how to play guitar.

Haggard began getting into trouble as a teen and moved on to more serious crimes. He spent a couple of years in San Quentin prison after being convicted of burglary and attempting to escape from a county jail. It was there that he heard Cash perform during a visit to the prison and was inspired to get serious about pursuing his own musical career.

In 1969, after he had become a country star, Haggard appeared as a guest on “The Johnny Cash Show” on TV.

Haggard’s numerous hit songs included “Okie From Muskogee” and “Mama Tried.”  He won three Grammy awards and many other honors.

He died last year in California on his 79th birthday after developing pneumonia in both lungs.

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