In this May 3, 2014 file photo, Merle Haggard performs in concert at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. At 77, he still tours around the country about two weeks each month and recently bought a new tour bus, a sign that he’s not interested in retirement from the road. His band, the Strangers, now includes his wife, Theresa, and 21-year-old son Ben, as well as band leader Norman Hamlett, who has been with Haggard since the 1960s. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Even Merle Haggard gets nervous about stepping onto a stage when the audience is filled with songwriters, record label executives and fellow artists.

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