BY LOUIS AMESTOY Californian staff writer email@example.com
In honor of the Bakersfield Sound exhibit that's opening in Nashville this week, we thought you might enjoy some of the greatest covers of the iconic song "Streets of Bakersfield."
That song, of course, was made famous by Buck Owens and then made even more famous when he teamed with Dwight Yoakam to remake it in the 1990s. It's a huge hit and it's a wildly popular cover song in bars and festivals.
Here at Bakosphere we endeavored to bring you the best of these covers from YouTube -- there are 30 in all. In fact, we've got more than an hour of covers from the "Streets of Bakersfield." The covers range from solo efforts to tinny performances in noisy bars. There are some international efforts with performances from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.
We also provided a nice copy from Vimeo, which generally has higher quality videos than YouTube, by the Josh Williams Band covering the son in 2011.
In case you missed our earlier post on the Country Music Hall of Fame's exhibit opening in Nashville later this week here are some details from the exhibit's press release:
The Bakersfield Sound story will include hundreds of archival photos, audio and video clips, and a Fort Knox of rare, historic and visually stunning artifacts including:
Stage costumes worn by the Maddox Brothers & Rose, featuring floral motifs, elaborate embroidery and fringe, created by famed Hollywood designer Nathan Turk; Wynn Stewart's understated Nudie suit with decorative straps and buckles; several Turk-designed suits worn by Buck Owens; a Nudie suit with motifs from the San Joaquin Valley, worn by Bobby Adamson of the Farmer Boys; and more.
A plethora of important instruments, including Telecasters belonging to Buck Owens and Don Rich; Speedy West's Bigsby 1948 steel guitar (its whereabouts a mystery for decades); Ralph Mooney's Fender double-neck pedal steel guitar; and Merle Travis's electric guitar - one of the first solid-body electric guitars, designed by Travis and built by Paul Bigsby.
Legal documents including the marriage license of Buck and Bonnie Owens; and the "Full Pardon for Crimes of Merle Haggard," signed March 1, 1972, by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan.
Weaving the expansive story together via video screens throughout the gallery is Dwight Yoakam, who created a one-of-a-kind oral history -- with special guests Merle Haggard and Chris Hillman -- especially for this exhibit; the interview was taped at Hollywood's Capitol Records Tower, where many Bakersfield Sound hits were made.
The exhibit will also focus on the Bakersfield music businesses that evolved in the 1960s, including publishing houses, recording studios, booking and management agencies, radio stations and performance venues, and particularly on Buck Owens Enterprises, the music empire owned and operated by the savvy Owens. It will also explore the enduring impact of the Bakersfield Sound on subsequent generations of musicians, singers and songwriters, from country-rock pioneers the Flying Burrito Brothers to Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley, and many others.
Among other narrative elements, visitors will learn about the importance of Capitol Records producer Ken Nelson, who recorded numerous Bakersfield classics, including many of Owens' and Haggard's hits, and who has been elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame; and the role of the Buckaroos and the Strangers in developing the Bakersfield Sound, with emphasis on key sidemen such as steel guitar innovator Ralph Mooney, Telecaster ace Roy Nichols and lead guitarist and harmony vocalist Don Rich. The Bakersfield-based Mosrite company, who manufactured instruments and issued recordings, also will be highlighted.