The Bakersfield Sound Changed Country Music
By the time the youthful Buck Owens was playing guitar and singing in Bakersfield honky-tonks in the 50s, the familiar Nashville style of country music was already too slickly-produced and orchestral for his taste.
Said Buck, “I always wanted to sound like a locomotive comin’ right through the front room.”
His new sound, influenced by rock and roll, with bright treble, electric instruments, and a strong back beat, became known as The Bakersfield Sound – a sound that appealed to the oilfield and agricultural workers in California, Oklahoma, and Texas. Oftentimes with strong story-telling lyrics, it was a driving sound which ultimately breathed new life into honky-tonk music, influenced country-rock, and had a whopping impact on modern musicians like the Beatles, Dwight Yoakam, and Beck.
Here’s Buck Owens by himself doing “The Streets of Bakersfield”, a song which he would later record as a duet with Dwight Yoakam.
And the duet with Dwight? That only turned younger folks onto the brilliance that was Buck Owens.
So inspired was Dwight by Buck and other early Bakersfield musicians that he launched his very own SiriusXM channel, ‘Dwight Yoakam and The Bakersfield Beat’, on Channel 349.
Today, as you are driving down the highway, heading for Orange Grove RV Park, you can tune into Channel 349 and hear Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Wynn Stewart, Tommy Collins, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, The Blasters, Lucinda Williams, Beck, and of course, Dwight Yoakam himself. It’s perfect driving music.
During His Lifetime (1929 – 2006)
Buck often performed at his own nightclub – the grand and sprawling Crystal Palace in Bakersfield. No longer did he work in smoke-filled honky-tonks, but in a venue that really showcased the talents of country musicians. You can visit the Crystal Palace today and see his cars, guitars, and costumes in the museum, have a great meal in the restaurant, and soak up all the Bakersfield Sound that modern musicians have to offer with concerts and events on the main stage. The Crystal Palace is located at 2800 Buck Owens Boulevard in Bakersfield, California 93308. It’s always a good idea to call for reservations or information: (661) 328-7560
For More of the Real Bakersfield
Get in the mood by turning up SiriusXM channel 349 real loud to listen to country music at its best, and visit Orange Grove RV Park, where you can pick oranges from your very own orange trees.
Oh! Don’t forget to check our discounts for Good Sam, Military, AAA, and Senior Citizens.