Merle Haggard show ad

Remembering Merle Haggard

R.I.P. Merle Haggard – American Music Icon

Back in 1978, I had the honor to open a show for Merle Haggard and his band. It was one of the highlights of my professional life, and I got to share it with my good friend and former band mate, Tabby Crabb. Here’s a newspaper ad for that show.

We were huge fans of Merle’s music, and he and his band were in top form that night. And, they made us feel welcome – which made the day even more memorable. That experience was part of the inspiration for my song, Haggard and the Queen, that I wrote years later.

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The Andy May – Texas Tabby Crabb Band

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Andy May-Texas Tabby Crabb - (29)

Andy May-Texas Tabby Crabb Band: Andy, “Chopper” Chodorow, Bill Holloway, and Tabby. 1977.

By the time we started The Andy May – Texas Tabby Crabb Band in 1977, Tabby and I both had years of experience in different commercial music scenes. We knew enough to realize the hard work and luck that it would take to make a living wage from a band. And it did.

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Andy May & Kenny Kosek- NY Folklore Center - 1967- Photo by Jack Prelutsky

Early On

New York in the 1960’s was a fabulous place to be for a young guitar nut. There were great players like Dave VanRonk appearing at venues even an under-age guy could go to. Then, there were folks like Doc Watson coming to town! I remember hearing Doc and Reverend Gary Davis jamming backstage at a hall…that was really something! …. Years later I would find myself working with some of my heroes– opening up for folks like Brownie McGee and Sonny Terry or Merle Haggard, or performing with Mike Seeger….
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