NewsCovering Kern County


Merle Haggard's former northeast Bakersfield home up for sale

Haggard family lived in home in late 1960s
Posted at 7:58 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 22:58:31-04

A northeast Bakersfield home is getting a lot of attention after hitting the market, and it's all thanks to a key selling point.

The home on 4007 Brae Burn Drive was once home to Merle Haggard and his family. The country music legend lived in the home in the late 1960s with his second wife Bonnie Owns, his mother Flossie, and his first four children, Marty, Kelli, Dana and Noel.

"It was like being dropped into another planet," his daughter Kelli said during a phone interview on Tuesday. The family only lived in the home for a few years, but she says the house represented a key time for the family. It was the first time they had all been under the same roof after Merle divorced from his first wife.

"Everything changed, and it was wonderful. And we were a family again," she said.

Raymond McDonald, Haggard's longtime friend and bus driver when he was touring, visited the home on Tuesday for the first time in nearly 50 years.

"Oh man, this is really weird for me, because c'mon, it's been 50 years man," McDonald said as he walked into the home.

McDonald told a story from 1969, when he said he came to visit Merle and was surprised with a song.

"And I walked in the door, and he was right there, Bonnie was right there, and he goes 'I wrote a song'," McDonald said. "And he said 'I'm gonna sing it for ya', and he sang me Okie From Muskogee. And I was stunned."

It was one of the first times Haggard had sang the song for someone, well before it topped the country music charts. The cover for Haggard's Christmas album was also taken in front of the fireplace which still sits in the home.

The home is being sold by Watson Realty, and you can view the listing here. An open house will be held at the home on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.