EVERY RECORD EVER RECORDED!!! A Field Guide to the Music of Earth


#7: THE BAKERSFIELD SOUND with Robert E. Price
listen on Apple Podcasts listen on Spotify listen on Google Play

In which we compare midcentury Bakersfield to Paris in the 1920s, discuss how to build a music scene, and hear a song sung by a truck.

True Crime · ERER007: The Bakersfield Sound with Robert E. Price



Buck Owens and the Buckaroos


* Official ERER007 youtube playlist!  

* Robert's book: buy it or library it  

* The majestic Bakersfield Sound box set that came out recently on Bear Family records  

* The Robert Sonkin collection of field recordings in the Library of Congress  

* A whole dang podcast episode (from the excellent Citations Needed) on the intentional right-wingification of country music  

* There's no book about Lesley Riddle - yet - but here's a little more about him, and here.  

* Beyonce is country: here's the proof.  

* This is that David Allan Coe song - co-written by John Prine, although he apparently refused credit. (For the record, though, this is actually the countriest country song that ever countried, although Coe is solidly in the top ten.)  

* The excellent Cocaine and Rhinestones podcast (with Tyler Mahan Coe, son of David Allan) has several episodes relevant to Bakersfield.  

* The Walking the Floor interview podcast (with Chris Shifflet, of the Foo Fighters) has several Bakersfield episodes including #1, with Red Simpson.  

* The Japanese country music scene is a great youtube hole to splash around in, but the song we used on the show isn't on youtube (or quite plausibly has defeated my rudimentary Japanese-language search skills): JT Kanehira "Country Music Makes Me So Happy."  

* Dwight Yoakam's Bakersfield show on SiriusXM  

* Whoa did a lot of books get read for this episode! Here's the long list at Bookshop.org. A few selected favorites:

- Rednecks, Queers and Country Music, by Nadine Hubbs. (buy it or library it) I also can't wait to read Hubbs' upcoming Country Mexicans, but for the episode I made do with a few magazine and journal articles, like George H. Lewis, “Ghosts, Ragged but Beautiful: Influences of Mexican Music on American Country-Western and Rock ‘N' Roll,” in Popular Music and Society from 1991. I think of myself as pretty jaded but some things can still shock me, such as the almost complete absence of any literature on the relationship between Mexican music and country music...? SMDH.

- John W. Troutman, Kīkā Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music - the Hawaiian influence on country music has been laying unheralded right there in plain sight for decades, in the form of the steel guitar. Super fascinating look at pop music at the very beginning of the recording era. (buy it or library it)

- Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow, by Karl Hagstrom Miller. If you're like me, you're pretty good at pegging whether something is folk or country, blues or jazz, R&B or country, based on some pretty damn slim distinctions. This book unpacks how all those category lines came about and you'll never feel easy in your mind about genre again (hooray!). (buy it or library it)

- Workin' Man Blues, Gerald Haslam - an intro to country music in California (library it or read it online)

- The Jazz of the Southwest: An Oral History of Western Swing, by Jean Ann Boyd. Just what it says on the cover! (buy it or or library it or read it online)

- Buck 'Em, Buck Owens - Buck is such a titan, he even wrote a posthumous autobiography. Entertaining AF. "One of the things I managed to do that nobody had ever done before in country music, or in any other style of music for that matter - and I'd put money on it never happening again - was to be the first artist to ever record a number one single without having a record deal." -Buck Owens (buy it or library it)



the earth floating in space, serenaded by a vast gramophone