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Published on September 23rd, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


Country Legends Head to Charleston: Don Williams and Merle Haggard are Solid at the Music Hall and PAC

Two major local concert halls recently announced that two country music Hall of Famers will head to the Lowcountry this winter. Warm-voiced singer/songwriter Don Williams will perform at the Charleston Music Hall on January 16, 2014. Country icon Merle Haggard and his band are set to play at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on February 6, 2014.

Known for his deep, rich baritone and easy-going style, Texas native Williams (nicknamed “The Gentle Giant”) has been crooning and strumming since the early 1970s. He scored 17 number one hits through the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, including “I Wouldn’t Want to Live If You Didn’t Love Me,” “I Believe in You,” and “Lord Have Mercy on a Country Boy.” At 74, William has been in and out of semi-retirement through the 2000s. His latest release, last year’s And So It Goes, followed 2004’s critically acclaimed My Heart to You.


Don Williams’ latest.

Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Tickets for his show at the Charleston Music Hall go on sale for $49.50 and $59.50 on Fri. Sept. 27 at 12 p.m. via or by phone at (800) 514-ETIX (3849).

California native Merle Haggard, 76, initially made a splash as the twangy “Bakersfield Sound” was seeping into country music in the late 1950s and early ’60s. His earliest hits include “Swinging Doors,” “The Bottle Let Me Down,” and “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive.”

In the ’70s, Haggard veered into “outlaw country” musical territory alongside Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and others who bucked the Nashville sound and the Music City’s narrow-minded commercialism of the time. Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and “Okie from Muskogee” hit the charts during this outlaw era. He recorded duets with Nelson, the late George Jones, and other throughout the 1980s.

Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994. He occasionally dabbled in Western swing and bluegrass in the 1990s and 2000s. His latest studio efforts include 2010’s I Am What I Am and 2011’s Working in Tennessee (both released on the Vanguard label).

Tickets for Haggard’s show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center go on sale for $39.50, $49.50, and $59.50 (plus applicable fees) on Fri. Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. via at the Coliseum Advance Ticket Office, all Tickemaster outlets, by phone at (800) 745-3000, and online at and

Top photo provided by North Charleston Performing Arts Center.



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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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