The Bakersfield Sound with Scott Bomar


Karin Patiño

Author of “The Bakersfield Sound” Scott B. Bomar discusses country music of the west at the Dezember Reading Room on Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019.

Karin Patiño, Reporter

    Music producer and Nashville native Scott B. Bomar visited CSU Bakersfield on Tuesday, Oct. 15 to discuss his new book, “The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital of The West, 1940-1974” in the Walter Stiern Library’s Dezember Reading Room.

  To a room filled with country music fans both new and continuing, Bomar lectured about some of the Bakersfield country music greats who inspired him and his writing. The musicians that he spoke about included Bill Woods, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Billy Mize.

  Bomar grew up around the country music industry in Nashville, Tennessee, so he has always been familiar with and been a fan of artists like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, among other west coast singers. After moving to Los Angeles in 2000 to pursue his music business career, he realized there was more to the west’s country music history than he realized, and specifically from the Bakersfield area.

  Bomar began to collect any and all records he could find by artists from Bakersfield, both singles and LPs, and anything in between. Bomar said it didn’t matter if it was good or not. If it was Bakersfield related, he bought it.

  While listening to all the sounds and nuances that came from this city, Bomar knew early on he wanted to write a book all about it…until Bakersfield Californian columnist Robert Price unknowingly beat him to it. But this was not a problem. To differentiate himself from Price, according to Bomar, he decided to include music with the release of his book. “The Bakersfield Sound” is part of a box set that Bomar has curated, with digitized versions of all his Bakersfield related records.

  According to Bomar, he is proud to know that all these artists’ works have been preserved digitally forever, and his book has information about all the artists that are on it, both well-known and obscure. He guarantees that even die-hard country music fans are bound to find an artist or two they have not heard of before.

  “There has always been variety in the sounds that have come from this town… I think the reason we have the term ‘Bakersfield sound’ is because it is a shorthand way of saying that something musically and culturally significant took root and flowered in and around Bakersfield during a specific era that made a phenomenal impact on commercial country music,” said Bomar.