The Strangers (American band)

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The Strangers
Origin Bakersfield, California, United States
Genres Country, Western, Outlaw Country, Bakersfield Sound
Years active 1965–present
Labels Capitol, MCA, Epic, Curb, ANTI, Vanguard
Members Renato Caranto
Doug Colosio
Jim Christie
Floyd Domino
Ben Haggard
Dana Haggard
Noel Haggard
Theresa Haggard
Norman Hamlet
Scott Joss
Taras Prodaniuk
Past members Merle Haggard
Biff Adam
Johnny Barber
Jimmy Belkin
Eddie Burris
James Burton
Glen Campbell
Eddie Curtis
Iris DeMent
Terry Domingue
George French
Dennis Hromek
Kenny Vernon
Joe Manuel
Abe Manuel
Will McGregor
Randy Mason
Tiny Moore
Don Markham
Marcia Nichols
Bonnie Owens
Fuzzy Owen
Ralph Mooney
Roy Nichols
Clint Strong
Gordon Terry
Jerry Ward
Bobby Wayne
Redd Volkaert
Mark Yeary
Red Lane

The Strangers is an American country band best known as the back-up band for singer-songwriter Merle Haggard. Formed in 1965 in Bakersfield, California, United States, the band continued to tour with original co-founding member Norman Hamlet, as well as Haggard's children Dana and Ben.


The group mainly served as the backup band for Haggard. However, from 1969 to 1973, it issued several records independent of Haggard, released by Haggard's label, Capitol Records. While most of the performers were contemporaries of Haggard in age or younger, some performers, including Tiny Moore, were older performers in the country or western swing genres. Glen Campbell, who had a solo career as a singer and a short career leading a television variety show, was a member of the storied Hollywood group of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew" and played on some of Haggard's Capitol recordings as did session greats James Burton and pedal steel guitarist Ralph Mooney. Haggard recruited longtime friend Kenny Vernon to play guitar and contribute vocals. Vernon also co-wrote with Haggard. Pianist Mark Yeary penned many songs for Haggard. Horns joined the group for the first time in 1969 with Don Markham playing tenor saxophone and trumpet,[1] yet instrumentation mainly consisted of guitars, bass guitar, keyboard and drums.

Current members[edit]

  • Renato Caranto – tenor saxophone
  • Doug Colosio – keyboards
  • Jim Christie – drums
  • Floyd Domino – keyboards
  • Ben Haggard – electric guitar, lead guitar, lead and backing vocals
  • Dana Haggard – backing vocals
  • Noel Haggard – lead vocals, electric guitar
  • Theresa Haggard – backing vocals
  • Norman Hamlet – steel guitar
  • Scott Joss – fiddle, mandolin, guitars, backing vocals
  • Taras Prodaniuk – bass guitar


  • The Instrumental Sounds of Merle Haggard's Strangers, 1969 Capitol Records
  • Introducing My Friends the Strangers, 1970 (Capitol)
  • Getting to Know Merle Haggard's Strangers, 1970 (Capitol)
  • Honky Tonkin' , 1971 (Capitol)
  • Totally Instrumental with One Exception, 1973 (Capitol)


  1. ^ Deming, Mark. "A Portrait of Merle Haggard - Merle Haggard & the Strangers". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 

External links[edit]