The Bakersfield Sound Feature Exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame will close December 31, 2014. The Exhibit features the working-class city of Bakersfield, California, which gave birth to an exciting, raw-edged style of country music that enjoyed overwhelming popularity in the 1960s and continues to connect with musicians and fans today. Out of which we gained Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, the most successful exponents of the Bakersfield Sound, with its sharp-edged electric guitars, raw barroom feel, and honest, down-to-earth songs.
Owens and Haggard rose to iconic status on the height of the Bakersfield music scene created by broad cultural changes that were taking place from the 1930s through the 1950s. There were southerners seeking work in Bakersfield’s abundant farmlands and oil fields, thus making up a audience longing for the sounds that reminded them of home. Western swing and honky-tonk proved particularly popular, and with time Bakersfield musicians created their own distinctive and influential sound-two thousand miles from the heart of country music in Nashville.
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend experiencing this West coast scene before the exhibit closes!
Watch a short video of Dwight Yoakam and Merle Haggard discussing the Bakersfield Sound.