Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson at Coronado July 26; tickets go on sale June 15

Merle Haggard

Online Staff Report

Two icons of American music, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson, come together for a landmark evening of timeless storytelling songs at Rockford’s Coronado Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 26.

Tickets are $45, $60 and $75, and may be purchased online at, by phone at (815) 968-0595, or in person at the Coronado Box Office, 314 N. Main St. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, June 15.

Backed by a six-man version of Haggard’s road band, The Strangers, the two legends sing their classics: Kristofferson delivers “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “For the Good Times” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” Haggard serves up “Working Man Blues,” “If We Make it Through December,” “Today I Started Loving You Again” and, of course, “Okie from Muskogie.” The two never leave the stage, often singing harmonies on each other’s songs and swapping tales.

The man behind country music’s working man’s anthems and a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for his lifetime of contributions to American culture, singer and songwriter Merle Haggard has hung his soul on the line with songs that bring a lyrical depth to tales of hard living. Ever the lonesome fugitive, outlaw and flesh-and-bones performer, Haggard weaves his one-of-a-kind vocal textures to reveal the heart and soul of a musician who may be the most well-rounded country talent ever to take the stage.

Kris Kristofferson

Kristofferson turned down a teaching position at West Point for a job as a janitor at Columbia Records in Nashville, Tenn. Music City soon took notice. The prolific entertainer and former Rhodes Scholar ventured into acting in 1971 with leads in A Star is Born, Convoy, Where the Red Fern Grows and the cult-favorite Blade vampire series. In 2011, he appeared in the family drama Dolphin Tale. He has always considered himself a writer, weaving themes of love, war, aging, gratitude and more into a rich and remarkable soundtrack that has continued to grow through the years.

Posted June 14, 2012

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