Pitchfork has a fine review of Hag: The Best of Merle Haggard.
an excerpt:As an introduction to Haggard’s music– or even to the Bakersfield sound that he helped popularize– Hag may be unparalleled. Born in Bakersfield to transplanted Oklahomans, Haggard was at heart a California artist, reared on 1940s and
50s country and influenced by Bob Wills, Tex Ritter, and Spade Cooley. You can hear their influence– especially Wills’– in songs like “Living with the Shades Pulled Down”, on which Haggard calls out his band members to solo, adopting a falsetto much like his hero’s. It’s an original tune, but it could very easily be a Wills cover.
Hag recently collaborated with another Country legend, George Jones, on the release ”
Kickin’ Out the Footlights…Again.”