Tag Archives: “Okie from Muskogee”

Miggs Burroughs: Time For Merle Haggard

Most Westporters knew Merle Haggard — if they knew him at all — as the singer-songwriter of the proud-to-be-a-hippie-hater “Okie From Muskogee.”

But Miggs Burroughs knew Haggard — who died Wednesday, on his 79th birthday — in a different way.

More than 40 years ago — in June of 1973 — Time Magazine asked the 27-year-old artist to create the cover for a story on the country music “outlaw hero.”

“I wasn’t a fan at the time,” Miggs recalls.

“I painted it on real barn siding to make it look as haggard as possible. I liked it, they liked it, and proofs were printed.”

The Time cover readers never saw.

The Time cover readers never saw.

But Merle complained, and the editors swapped Miggs’ artwork out for a photographic cover.

He sighs. “Then it was me who looked haggard.”

PS: 14 months later, Miggs painted another Time cover — the one announcing Richard Nixon’s resignation. The disgraced president didn’t like hippies either.