Besides his unique voice the reason Merle was so popular is that he was the real deal when it came to country. He grew up extremely poor and picked up a guitar when he was young to help him get over the early death of his father. He got into all kinds of trouble as a teenager and ended up in juvenile detention. Then when he became a young adult he was sent to prison for robbery. He tried to break out of prison but was caught and sent to San Quinton where a famous country music singer stopped by to give a concert by the name of Johnny Cash.
Hearing Johnny sing inspired Merle to turn his life around and pursue becoming a country music singer so when he got out of prison that’s what he did successfully for 50 years. There’s no doubt Johnny Cash positively impacted millions of people throughout his life.