Merle Haggard recovers from pneumonia, returns to touring
Country music veteran Merle Haggard has recovered from his bout with pneumonia and other medical issues and is heading back out on tour for a string of shows beginning Feb. 28 in Tucson and continuing with stops in Southern California the following night at the Grove in Anaheim and March 1 at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego.
The 74-year-old Country Music Hall of Fame member was hospitalized last month in Macon, Ga., where he was treated for double pneumonia as well as for stomach ulcers, esophageal diverticulitis and the removal of eight polyps from his colon. He postponed seven shows.
“I’m feeling good and ready to get back on the bus,” Haggard said in a statement issued Wednesday by his spokeswoman. “Thanks to all for their powerful prayers that led to my speedy recovery. I’m rehearsing with the band and looking forward to playin’ and singin’ again.”
Haggard had part of a lung removed in 2008 after learning he had lung cancer. The cancer has been in full remission since that surgery.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Merle Haggard and his dog, Fanny Mae, on his tour bus backstage at the 2010 Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times.