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MUSIC: Haggard show to aid farmer

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published August 1, 2008 at 4:07 a.m.

— Country music legend Merle Haggard will headline Ozark Throwdown, a new event that will be held this weekend on a farm near Melbourne on Arkansas 69 South.

Haggard will perform to help an area farmer, Steve Wortham, who had extensive losses when tornadoes struck the area in February.

Tickets, $45, are for sale at First National Bank of Izard County locations in Melbourne, Mountain View, Calico Rock, Horseshoe Bend and Mount Pleasant; Mark's Pharmacy in Melbourne; Horton's Music in Highland; Quattlebaum's Music in Searcy; George's Liquor in Newport; All Star Music in Jonesboro; and First Southern Bank, All Star Music, S&S Liquidations and The Pool Store, all in Batesville.

The gates open each day at 4 p.m. and bands will start playing at 5. The throwdown willhave food vendors; camping, ice chests, pets and lawn chairs will be allowed.

Call (888) 262-4502 or (870) 368-3377 or see the Web site, www.ozarkthrowdown.com.

Today, the all-ages event will feature north Arkansas musicians, including the David Grimes Tactic 86, Forever Young and Friends, Crosswind, and Kenny Crider and the Bottom Land Band. Saturday, the event will feature the David Grimes All Star Band, Jimmie Lou and Friends, Kenny Crider and the Bottom Land Band and newcomer Chris Malpass, who is touring with Haggard and is known for his performances of the songs of Hank Williams.

Haggard and his band, The Strangers, will headline the Saturday show. His band will be joined by George Roselli, Bob Dylan's drummer, and Nashville, Tenn., session guitarist Reggie Young.

During the past five years, Haggard has logged two shows at Ozarka College in Melbourne and one at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.

In a career spanning some 60 years, Haggard has had 40 No. 1 country hits and has released more than 70 albums. His hits include "Sing Me Back Home," "Mama Tried," "Hungry Eyes," "Workin' Man Blues," "Okie From Muskogee," "If We Make It Through December," "I Think I'll Stay Here and Drink," "Big City," "Pancho and Lefty," "Twinkle, Twinkle, Lucky Star," "White Line Fever" and "I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am."

His latest album is The Bluegrass Sessions, released in October. In May, Haggard, who had been scheduled to headline Riverfest in Little Rock, had to cancel a few days before the event and cancel three other concerts due to illness.

Weekend, Pages 57 on 08/01/2008

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