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date: 16 December 2019

Travis, Merlelocked

(29 November 1917–20 October 1983)
  • Charles K. Wolfe

Extract

Travis, Merle (29 November 1917–20 October 1983), country music guitarist, singer, and composer, was born Merle Robert Travis in the western Kentucky hamlet of Rosewood, Muhlenberg County, in the heart of the coal mining district, the son of William Robert Travis, a former tobacco farmer turned coal miner, and Laura Etta Latham. Merle was the youngest of four sons born to the couple and as a boy inherited the guitar of his older brother Taylor; he became fascinated with the instrument and announced to his eighth-grade teacher that he did not need formal schooling because he planned to make his living with his guitar—a bold statement at a time when country music was in its commercial infancy....

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