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Freddy Powers

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Freddy Powers (Gary Miller / FilmMagic / Getty Images)
Freddy Powers, a singer-songwriter who wrote many hit songs for Merle Haggard, has died, according to Rolling Stone magazine. He was 84.

Powers, who had Parkinson's disease, died Tuesday.

Powers was known for performing a unique mix of classic honky tonk music and Dixieland jazz. In the 1960s, his band, the Powerhouse Four, had a residency show at the Riviera Casino in Las Vegas. The band featured three banjos and a tuba.

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Haggard invited Powers to join him out in California and work with him, and many hit songs followed. Powers wrote No. 1 songs for Haggard including “A Place To Fall,” and “Natural High.” Powers was also friends with Willie Nelson and a sometime member of his band. Powers co-produced Nelson’s 1981 album, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Powers also wrote songs recorded by Ray Charles.

Our Five Favorite Merle Haggard Songs

In the 1990s, he co-hosted a talk show on the Austin Music Network. He also started the Freddy Powers Parkinson Organization to help raise funds for research into the disease.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine.

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