Recap of Last Night’s Show & Playlist

As usual our hour and 50 minutes went by way too fast.  In honor of our visiting Bakersfield this weekend to catch Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women tonight and The Buckaroos tomorrow, we borrowed heavily from a list of music compiled by Mitch Stiles, a Bakersfield Sound historian, that appeared in a piece by Robert Price, a Bakersfield Sound expert and journalist for The Bakersfield Californian, titled To Know This Sound, You Must First Know This Town.

It’s quite amazing just how tight the community of Bakersfield musicians was and the level of respect that had among themselves.  The more we delve into the music, the more we find some other great music.  Everyone knows Merle Haggard and his songs.  Knowing and liking his music pushes you to look into his influences and there you find folks like Tommy Collins, one of the great songwriters of the time and a great performer himself.  And then you learn that Tommy Collins traveled to Bakersfield with Wanda Jackson and her family and pieces of the puzzle are easily assembled.  The history and the interconnectedness of the music and musicians is infinitely interesting and spell binding.

As an example of the interwoven music scene, here’s a little bit of trivia that has relevance based on our playlist.  This is paraphrased from the great book, Working Man’s Blues by Gerald Haslam from Heyday Books.  Early in Buck Owens’ career, he formed a band called the Schoolhouse Playboys in the 50s.  During this time, Buck also contributed to other bands recording sessions as a guitar (and sometimes ukulele player).  Tommy Collins utilized the talents of one Ferlin Husky on guitar on a Tommy Collins record.  After recording for Tommy Collins, Ferlin Husky and singer Jean Shepard scored a big hit with “A Dear John Letter,” which launched Ferlin Husky’s solo career.  Tommy needed another guitarist so Buck was called up to play on “You Better Not Do That,” Collins’ first hit that reached #2 on the charts.  Buck’s contribution to the song was what writer Rich Kienzle called “the raunchy twisted-note style that became his trademark.”

Artist Cut Album Label
Tim Hus Bakersfield Music Bushpilot Buckaroo Stony Plain Records
Merle Haggard Kern River Down Every Road, 1962-1994 Capitol
Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women California’s Burning Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women Yep Roc
Tommy Collins Skinny Dynamic Tommy Collins Columbia
Merle Haggard Leonard 20th Century Masters Capitol
Tommy Collins You Better Not Do That Country’s Greatest Hits of the 50s K-Tel
Ferlin Husky A Dear John Letter Greatest Hits of Ferlin Husky Gusto
The Beatles Act Naturally Help! Apple
The Maddox Brothers and Rose Dim Lights, Thick Smoke, and Loud, Loud Music Live on the Radio Arhoolie
Red Simpson Hello, I’m A Truck Hello, I’m A Truck Gusto
Wynn Stewart Happy Crazy The Songs of Wynn Stewart Capitol
Buck Owens Streets of Bakersfield Streets of Bakersfield: Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Blaricum CD Co.
Merle Haggard If We Make It Through December Hag – The Best of Merle Haggard Capitol
Tom Russell They’re Tearing The Labor Camps Down Tulare Dust: A Songwriter’s Tribute to Merle Haggard Capitol
Chris Hillman Bakersfield Bound Bakersfield Bound Sugar Hill
Homer Joy John Law Someday It’ll Be Country First Stone Productions
Wanda Jackson Who Shot Sam Wanda Rocks Bear Family Records
Buck Owens Sam’s Place 21 Greatest Hits, The Ultimate Collection Rhino
Merle Haggard Sam Hill Down Every Road, 1962-1994 Capitol
Johnny Cash Sam Hall American IV, The Man Comes Around Lost Highway
Dave Alvin Everett Ruess Ashgrove Yep Roc
Meestro Valley of the Growers B Sides From B Street Meestro Music
Dr. BLT Billy Jean Demo Self
Buck Owens Massachusetts The Warner Bros. Recordings Warner Bros.
Red Simpson Truck Driving Man Best of Truck Driving Favorites Gusto
Gary S. Paxton Bakersfield Bakersfield Rebels Ace

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