A New Anthem for Bakersfield

The Town’s Next Iconic Song Will Be About Working Hard, Making Lifelong Friends, and Surviving Years Without Rain

It's Not Easy to Say Goodbye

The “Bakersfield Sound”—inland California’s answer to Nashville country music—traces its roots to the dusty streets of the Great Depression, when Okies headed West to find work in the oil fields. Buck Owens, a figurehead of the scene, gave the Kern County city its anthem, “The Streets of Bakersfield,” in 1973. His defiant opening lines: “I came here looking for something I couldn’t find anywhere else.”

That song and the music scene it belonged to were so distinctive, and remain so influential, that the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in …

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