Bakosphere Blog

Sunday, Apr 15 2012 08:00 AM

Bakersfield Sound, Haggard making news

BY LOUIS AMESTOY Californian staff writer lamestoy@bakersfield.com

The Bakersfield Sound exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame continues to attract attention from around the country, and we've found more praise for the exhibit.

In Erie, Penn., columnist Kevin Cuneo wrote about the exhibit and the influence of Buck Owens on country music, and he even provides a local angle.

"When I attended college there, Owens addressed our country-music business class, which was taught by a producer friend of his. Some of the students -- the snobbish ones -- were appalled that the star of "Hee Haw" would be a guest lecturer, but the rest of us knew better," wrote Cuneo, who writes for the Erie Times-News' website GoErie.com.

"Long before "Hee Haw," Owens had been a huge country star who wrote and performed almost all of his own material. He was a child of the Dust Bowl who knew from personal experience how it felt to go to bed hungry."

Down in Nashville, The Tennessean newspaper blogger Peter Cooper chronicled one of Merle Haggard's performances at the famed Ryman Museum and provided this review of his performance:

"What was included was an evening full of presence, musicality and generosity. This edition of Haggard's band, The Strangers, is a cross-generational club that spins off freewheeling solos and turns on a dime. Scott Joss provided plenty of fiddle fire on Wednesday, and longtime Strangers Norm Hamlett (steel guitar and Dobro) and Don Markham shone as well."

The website Tasteof Country.com blogger Megan Pacella notes that Haggard is now tweeting, but that his first attempts are bizarre.

A few moments after greeting his followers, the American icon followed up with: "Greetings all participators, especially all you sweet potaters. There's always something new . . . Any songwriters find a rhyme for that?"

"Later on, things got even goofier when he blasted followers with, "According to the judicial standpoint upon the cummiltation of the poultry if it makes any difference to me and I find out that's all I hope."

Haggard has clearly been busy with performances, interviews and other engagements. He took time for an interview with the newspaper in Shippensburg, Penn. about an upcoming show.

"We'll have a good time -- I promise you," Haggard told Herald-Mail reporter Amy Dulebohn. "We're just bringing country music and country humor. We bring to the stage 100 songs that have been in the Top 100 in American music throughout the years, and we grab from that material and we do an ad-lib show."

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