Jimmy Bowen Back to Produce Haggard

Producer Jimmy Bowen — who as head of Liberty Records lost a power struggle to its flagship artist, Garth Brooks — is reportedly coming out of retirement to produce an album for Capitol on Merle Haggard. The label will neither confirm nor deny the story. During his nearly 20 years in Nashville, Bowen produced a string of hits for Hank Williams Jr., Conway Twitty, George Strait, Reba McEntire and others while heading Elektra, Warner Bros., MCA, Universal and, finally, Capitol (which he renamed “Liberty.”) In spite of presiding over Brooks’ mammoth sales success, Bowen and the artist didn’t get along. Slowed by both the feud and thyroid cancer, Bowen left Liberty (which soon reverted to “Capitol”) and moved to Maui in 1995. He now lives in Arizona.