Added: Edwina Campuzano - Date: 11.03.2022 00:06 - Views: 18522 - Clicks: 7997
When people around the country think of Bakersfield they will probably think of its association with country music. More precisely Buck Owens and Merle Haggard may come to mind. However, the Bakersfield Sound is much more than Owens and Haggard. Of course, there are many theories on how the Bakersfield Sound developed. Haslam states that the Bakersfield Sound grew out of several different styles of music and that performers picked and chose the styles they liked to create their own brand of music. Kurt Wolff of the All Music Guide states that the Bakersfield Sound was marked by the sharp, loud, high-end sound of the electric and steel guitars, fiddles, and lead and harmony vocals influenced by rock and roll and rockabilly as well as traditional country.
This was a direct contrast with the production style of the Nashville Sound, at the time filling the country airwaves with crooning voices, lush string arrangements, and background choruses. The Bakersfield Sound was a reaction to the early '50s and '60s sweetening of country music epitomized by the Nashville Sound.
Country Roots on a Budget Collection indicates that Bakersfield music was, by comparison, rawer, twangier and rocked more than just a little.
One of the established facts, no matter whom you talk to, is that the Bakersfield Sound was created in the honky tonks. This provided enjoyment for the patrons, but more importantly allowed the musicians to hone their skills. The influence of the performers on one another should not be discarded.
Owens and Haggard are household names, but what made their careers was a drive to succeed, talent, and the ability to work with and learn from others. Haggard would not have enjoyed the success he has earned without the likes of Fuzzy Owen, Bonnie Owens, and Lewis Talley. The migration of the Okies to California in the s and s is really where the Bakersfield Sound started.
They weren't apt to go for fancy music. Not all of the musicians who fueled and fostered the Bakersfield Sound were actually the children of those itinerant dirt farmers, but many of them were - and every last one of them, poor or not, understood that sort of life and that sort of desperation. Legendary guitar player Eugene Moles indicated that the Bakersfield Sound was formed from many phases of singular parts and that no one person can really take sole credit for coming up with the sound. It should be noted that the Bakersfield Sound was driven by the piano, steel guitar, and of course the Telecaster guitar.
When asked about the Bakersfield Sound, Jimmy Phillips said, "it had a simple sound He added that Bill Woods was at the forefront of the movement and that Woods is known as the "Father of the Bakersfield Sound. During that ten-year interval he lived in Arvin, Woodlake, and Richmond during the war playing guitar and singing at church and performing in local bands. His big break came in the late s when he was hired by former Bob Wills vocalist Tommy Duncan to play piano and fiddle. Tommy Hays, a guitarist and bandleader who still plays in Bakersfield, once said that Bill Woods could darn near play anything including keyboards, guitar, and fiddle.
The Bakersfield Sound, although resoundingly popular in Bakersfield and Kern County, became notable throughout the Central Valley and Los Angeles as performers began to spend time playing in those areas. It is important to note that these areas already had country music and much of the same type of music was being played as it was in Bakersfield. Again, the influence of performers on each other is ificant.
Further widening the popularity was the session work being done in Los Angeles recording studios. In fact, Moles was such a talent that Nashville guitar pickers starting copying his style. Moles, however, never achieved the success of Nichols because he was unwilling to tour and leave his family behind. In fact, Moles turned down a multi-year contract with Capitol Records. Nichols, on the other hand, performed with such legendary stars as Lefty Frizzell, Wynn Stewart, and finally for twenty-two years with Merle Haggard.
Another reason for the popularity of the Bakersfield Sound was radio and television. Folks tuned in even from the Central Coast and Fresno to watch the show. The guest talent on the Trading Post Gang was every bit as good as what Nashville was producing at the time.
Entertainers such as Joe and Rose Lee Maphis, Dallas Frazier, and Barbara Mandrell performed on the show and for some it was their springboard to stardom. Cousin Herb Henson hosted the show for ten years until his untimely death at the age of 39 on November 26, I have long argued that the Bakersfield Sound would have been much more popular if Cousin Herb had lived longer. This, of course, may or may not be true. But, Henson's replacement was a success in his own right. He had already begun performing on the Trading Post Gang when Cousin Herb had his fatal heart attack.
Mize then took over as host of the show.
For two years, he even hosted both shows racking up over 3, miles per week driving between Bakersfield and Los Angeles. However, he like many of the Bakersfield Sound crowd was an excellent songwriter. Dean Martin also recorded three of his songs including Terrible Tangled Web. Songwriting is an important part of the Bakersfield Sound equation. The poetic writings matched with the instrumentation are what made it a success. One songwriter that cannot go unmentioned is Dallas Frazier.
Frazier is thought of as one of the all-time great songwriters having composed songs that have been hits in several genres. He got his start at ren's talent show in that was hosted by Ferlin Husky. It was from that association that he learned to play guitar being taught his first chords by another band member, Tommy Collins. He has also been inducted into the National Songwriter's Hall of Fame. With all that being said, the impact of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard on country music is historic.
Both are prolific songwriters in addition to their musical talents. The success of the two is evident in the fact that the American Country Countdown included both in the top ten artists of the century. Haggard came in third and Owens was tenth based on of weeks the artists had songs on the charts compiled by Billboard Magazine.
Think about that for a moment Together they have more than sixty one records, and that is only counting the songs they performed.
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