Presse Archiv - Various Artists - The Bakersfield Sound 1940 - 1974 - The New York Times

‘The Bakersfield Sound’

(Bear Family; 10 CDs plus hard-bound book, $179.68)

The city of Bakersfield, Calif. emerged in the 1950s to rival Nashville as the place defining country music. The Bakersfield sound clung tenaciously to country’s most twangy, sinewy elements — bluegrass, Western swing, honky-tonk, rockabilly — to accompany lean, down-to-earth, working-class storytelling. Buck Owens and Merle Haggard were the city’s superstars, but this copious 10-CD set, which includes an extensively researched hardcover book, digs far deeper. It starts with Library of Congress recordings of migrant Southwestern farmworkers in California — real “Okies” — and celebrates Bakersfield’s studio mainstays. It rediscovers rowdy rarities like Phil Brown’s “You’re a Luxury” and Rose Stassie’s “Out of My Mind.” Instead of well-worn hits, it selects lesser-known cuts from Owens and Haggard, including their barely distributed debut singles. While Nashville eventually won country radio, at least Bakersfield never got slick. JON PARELES

 

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The Bakersfield Sound - Country Music Capital Of The West 1940 - 1974 (10-CD Deluxe Box Set) Various - History: The Bakersfield Sound - Country Music Capital... Art-Nr.: BCD16036

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