Obit

Longtime Merle Haggard Manager Charles “Fuzzy” Owen Dead At 91

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BAKERSFIELD, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Charles “Fuzzy” Owen, an country artist, songwriter, label exec and longtime manager of the late Merle Haggard, has died. He was 91.

Owen’s death was announced in a post on Haggard’s official Instagram account.

“To all fans and friends: Today Merle’s lifelong manager Charles Fuzzy Owen passed away. He managed Merle through his career. He also was the first one to record Merle. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. God bless you Fuzzy!” the post said.

A cause of death for Owen was not disclosed

A native of Arkansas, Owen relocated to Bakersfield, California in the late 1940s where he and his cousin Lewis Tally performed at the Blackboard Cafe before it became a nexus for the burgeoning Bakersfield scene.

The two cousins, along with Billy Barton also wrote “A Dear John Letter” the first major hit to come from the Bakersfield scene after it was recorded by Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky with a roster of Bakersfield musicians in 1953.

The cousins also launched their own record label, Tally Records, where they signed a young Merle Haggard in 1962.

After Haggard moved to Capitol several years later, the country brought Owen along as his manager, a role he would continue for the remainder of Haggard’s long career.

Haggard died in 2016.


An interview with Owen by local television news outlet KGET last year.

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