I get my inspiration from Bakersfield artists.
Growing up in California, I was raised on the Bakersfield Sound. What is that? You ask. I’ll tell you. The Bakersfield sound is a sub-genre that was created during the 1950s in you guessed it, Bakersfield, California. According to VisitBakersfield.com, “the Bakersfield Sound was created in the honky tonks.” It was created in “smoke filled honky tonks in and around Bakersfield.” The sound was created in small town clubs and bars like The Blackboard Café, Rainbow Gardens, and Tex’s Barrel House where music was played seven days a week. The most notable artists from the Bakersfield era include the likes of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, but musicians such as Bill Woods, Fuzzy and Bonnie Owens, are attributed to the development of the Bakersfield sound.
What is the Bakersfield Sound?The Bakersfield Sound was born in an attempt to move away from the Nashville Sound. You see, Nashville had a reputation of big productions and glitz and glam. Nashville music had it all. String arrangements, perfect voices, and enough lights and flashy clothes to get anyone’s attention. The Bakersfield artists were not about the pizazz though. You can think of it more like the raw, edgier side of country. Instead of orchestrated arrangements, Bakersfield music used electric guitars and began to fuse country with rockabilly and rock and roll influences.
Who are the Bakersfield Artists?Although Bill Woods is attributed to pioneering the Bakersfield Sound, earning him the nickname “Father of the Bakersfield Sound,” the most notable artists in the genre include Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and Merle Haggard and the Strangers. Eventually as the sound developed, other artists began to embrace the sound and incorporated it into their own music. Gram Parsons, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater, and Dwight Yoakam can all trace their musical styles back to the Bakersfield Sound.
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Tags: bakersfield, bakersfield sound, honky tonks, buck owens, merle haggard, bill woods, nashville sound, gram parsons, grateful dead, creedence clearwater, dwight yoakam