The Bakersfield Sound

Iconic music scene slipping away with Trout's up for sale

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County has a rich country music legacy.

With the iconic Trout's up for sale, a bar many consider to be the last piece of real estate tied to the origins of the "Bakersfield Sound," some are worried the sound may be fading. 

It started in the 1950s as a rebellion against the music coming out of Nashville.

Although the music lives on, its birthplace is changing. 

Red Simpson is a legendary figure of the Bakersfield Sound. 

He sang songs about trucks, such as his that he inherited from his father and passed down to his son David Simpson. 

Red's truck and music live on but a big part of his legacy was lost the day Trout's went up for sale. 

"Probably won't never see it again," David Simpson says. 

Red Simpson played at the old honky-tonk into his old age. 

On display inside was a gold record and an old 45 Red loaned to his beloved Trout's years ago. 

It's just one more piece of the Bakersfield Sound that could now be lost forever. 

"To me that's so heartbreaking because I can remember when this was known all over the country," said Bobby Durham, a musician of the Bakersfield Sound. 

"This was absolutely called Nashville west for a lot of years," said Johnny Owens, Buck Owen's son. 

As the years go on the sound seems like it's fading in its own backyard.

"Bakersfield is missing the boat as far as the Bakersfield Sound.  We're famous everywhere but Bakersfield.  You travel the country and it's all talk about the Bakersfield Sound," said Tommy Hays, another musician from the Bakersfield Sound era. 

Merle Haggard and Red Simpson died last year. 

Buck Owens died in 2006. 

Now the last old honky-tonk that helped them become legends may have closed its doors for good. 

Their sound alive only in their music. 

"If you lose it, you lose the Buck Owens, you lose the Merle Haggards, you lose the Red Simpsons," Johnny Owens said.

"I hope somebody brings it back," David Simpson said. 

Johnny Owens and the Buck Fever band perform at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace once a month. 

They play some of the hits Buck made famous, reminding everyone just how iconic the Bakersfield Sound is. 


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