Inside Merle Haggard’s long-gestating ‘Tribute to the Troubadour’ album

Why was Merle Haggard’s proposed “Tribute to the Troubadour” album shelved indefinitely? Featuring an exclusive interview, we dive into the late country maverick’s appreciation for Texas Troubadour Ernest Tubb. Here Haggard tips his hat to the crowd as he takes the Palomino Stage on the first night of the sold-out three-day Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, on Friday, April 24, 2015. Photography by Allen J. Schaben / The Los Angeles Times

Three years before Merle Haggard’s death from recurring double pneumonia likely exacerbated by a previous bout with lung cancer, during a telephone interview plugging a show at Floore’s Country Store the veteran entertainer divulged that the intended studio follow-up to 2011’s acclaimed Western swing-espousing Working in Tennessee would be A Tribute to the Troubadour.