Last night’s show seemed to fly by. At almost 8:00 pm Mike commented that he could not believe we only had just shy of thirty minutes left in the show. Last night was the first show where we began to play some of the vinyl that I picked up when I was in Seattle. A new dimension was opened up in the studio. There is something about the sound quality, little pops and crackles and all that is deeper and more robust, sort of like a good hearty red wine. Dan Robertson from Dark Star Records and Books joined us from his store in Bakersfield. He has been collecting albums since he was about seven years old, worked for KUZZ radio for many many years and where my vinyl collection can easily be picked up and carried in a box, Dan’s has inspired a retail store and there is still a large private collection that will not hit the retail shelves any time soon. Dan measures his collection in terms of storage containers.
I’m sure that we will talk with Dan again. He described how he had won an LP on a radio show as a caller and then rode his bicycle down to KUZZ to pick it up. In the hallway he met Buck Owens who had recently purchased the station. Buck spoke to him and Dan said that he wanted to be a DJ, Buck said to come back and see him in a few years. Dan did just this and when he encountered Buck the next time at KUZZ it was as an employee, Buck remembered him from meeting him in the hallway many years before. Buck Owens inspired a loyalty to those who worked in his organization and there are many people who have spent a lifetime employed by Buck’s well run organization.
At last look, it appears that Merle Haggard is back on the tour schedule after cancelling a show due to health concerns. He has survived lung cancer surgery and treatment and is over the age of seventy. He is doing what he loves. We played a few songs from a live album that was recorded in Musgokee, OK. They were sure proud to have him there – they even gave him the key to the city. We also played some Ferlin Husky on vinyl and some Buck Owens and the Byrds, too.
In terms of newer Bakersfield tunes, I’m not sure how many times Monty Byrom’s name came up on the show last night, but there is definitly a buzz about Big House and the many projects that Monty is involved with in Bakersfield. I know that Dan Robertson mentioned him, Dr. BLT brought him up, Mike had been checking out his stuff on the web and Robert Price also mentioned him to me when he stopped by Olema a week or so ago. We had the priviledge of having Big House band member David Neuhauser as a guest on our very first Bakersfield and Beyond show. For some reason (maybe because it’s so good) the Big House CD that lived in the stacks at KWMR seems to be AWOL, but we’ll pick one up from Dan at Dark Star Records and Books when we visit Bakersfield next month.
We also played a track by Meestro, another local Bakersfield band as well has got to debut a new Dr. BLT tune, White Lies About White Guys, where he featured Rockwell, owner of Trout’s on vocals and guitar. Well done! A big thanks to Dr. BLT for getting KWMR into the local newspaper in Bakersfield – when asked what his favorite radio station is – he did the “little station that could” proud.
We are excited about the new and emerging tunes out of Bakersfield and plan to play as many as we can get our hands on. We feel also that we have entered the game a bit late since many of the folks that we would love to interview or meet have passed away or are in ill health. But better late than never. Perhaps, as Dan said when we spoke to him, that there is something happening in Bakersfield with the music, that they are “on the edge of something” right now, and that our timing is perfect. You just never know.
Send us your Bakersfield requests, recordings or ideas!
Thanks for listening/reading.