Marty Haggard will bring Country Music “Haggard Style” to the Salem Civic Center in Salem Arkansas on March 7th when he performs “A Tribute to “My Dad” Merle Haggard.” Haggard, the iconic country music singer’s oldest son, will make this a personal experience that’s more of a tribute to a father he loved than a tribute to Merle Haggard. In his father, he sees the greatest singer and songwriter of all time, performing what he views as real country.
The show starts at 7:00 p.m. and the doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $27 and may be purchased online at www.martyhaggard.net or can be obtained from the Fulton County Fair Office, 124 Arena Lane, Salem AR 72576 . They can also be ordered by phone at 1-800-838-3006 or at the fair office at 870-895-5565. Tickets at the door will be $30.
When Marty Haggard was young he was his father’s shadow, in the recording studio, on the road and at performances across the U.S. Marty was privileged to be a part of his Dad’s career as a guitar player and backup singer. He had the opportunity to meet many of the country greats as well as other celebrities and dignitaries.
He believed then, as he does now, that the music of his father, Merle Haggard, was as good as music gets. As he grew older, he too became a singer songwriter and earned his own awards in the business, receiving a nomination for best new male vocalist in 1986 for the single, Trains Make Me Lonesome.
But along the way, music changed. The older, country sound his father helped craft stepped aside for progressive, pop-infused beats. The younger Haggard changed too. He loved music but not the music industry. “I never really enjoyed or cared about being a star,” he said in an interview. “Somewhere along the way I grew up and realized I wasn’t enjoying the music business.”
In 1999, Marty began writing and singing spiritual songs. For ten years Marty traveled the country playing at churches and other venues proclaiming his love for Jesus.
However, Marty’s love for his Dad’s music inspired him to begin a project titled “A Tribute to Merle Haggard “My Dad”. In 2010, he cut the first album in his tribute consisting of 15 Hag classics. In 2010 he also began performing a tribute to his dad in Branson, Missouri until 2012. In 2011 he also recorded his second Tribute album to his Dad. Marty has spent the last eight years performing A Tribute to Merle Haggard “My Dad” all over the United States and Canada plus England, Ireland and Scotland.
I love music and I love him and what I really, really love the most, and this sounds simplistic, is that these people that come to shows grew up with this music like I did. I can see it on their faces, the music is taking these people back to moments of their lives,” Haggard said. “I can see the smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes. This is quite the blessing to help people smile and get away from the ritual of life.
“My dad told me his audiences were getting younger. He’d look out and see young teenagers. These kids got on the internet and stumbled across his music. I think there is a good chance song writing will full circle and come back around,” he said. “Everybody likes good music.”
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.