If you said Merle was the greatest country artist of all time, I probably wouldn't argue with you. A tremendous loss. This has been an utterly terrible year for music.  Completely agree, but this one is particularly upsetting to me. Merle, let us sing you back home.
Merle Haggard was one of the last, true towering legends of music we had left. I think it's about time I fire up the Down Every Road boxset and have a sip or two of whiskey. Goodbye stranger. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and ride easy Mr Haggard.
a piece i wrote that discusses Merle Haggard's "Hungry Eyes": http://walkingthelongmileshome.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/peepshow-creature-where-did-you-get-those-eyes-a-song-for-4-different-kinds-of-eyes/