Missing Bakersfield and the days of vinyl

Published 10:44 am Monday, February 27, 2023

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

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I received great feedback this past week for my Bakersfield article. I even got an invite to have a cocktail at the Crystal Palace with a Bakersfield native if I ever get out that way.

There’s folks from all over and every walk of life who read this paper. Feedback drives me.

I’ve learned a lot over the years about Bakersfield simply  listening to Dwight Yoakum’s channel on Sirius XM Radio, The Bakersfield Beat.

He has a show titled Greater Bakersfield where he goes in depth on all the music made there.

He’s told stories of my name sake, Ricky Nelson. That’s who I was named after. My Daddy loved Ricky Nelson and so have I all these years.

Dwight breaks down the songs with Ricky along with the guitar master James Burton. You know James if you ever heard any of Elvis’ later hits. That’s him The King referred to in his live shows when you heard him say “Play it James”.

He’s also had live interviews with many members of The Byrds. The Byrds are considered one of the most influential Rock bands ever and members came and went forming other bands along the way including Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Flying Burritto Brothers, and the Desert Rose Band to name a few.

Yoakum is a master historian when it comes to Bakersfield music.

I like to know who all plays on a song and what their story is.

I miss buying albums and tapes these days. I used to get a new album, put it on the stereo and sit back, listen and read every printed word on the album cover.

Nowadays, you buy songs and albums that play on your phone and if you want any of the background information you have to Google it up. It’s not the same.

Vinyl is making a small comeback lately to be purchased by true music connoisseurs and I have bought a few. Even paid for a bluetooth turntable that plays thru my speaker.

I’ll get out there one day soon to walk those streets, you can bet I am.

But in the meantime, if you desire a good music lesson, go to Graceland in Memphis. I cannot count how many times I have visited there.

Visit Sun Studios while you’re there. When you stand in the middle of that magic studio and they start playing “That’s Alright Mama”, cold chills and hair standing on the back of your neck will follow.

Check out Stax Records too. They have a wonderful tour that will musically educate you.

I love all music if it’s good. I’ve never had the best talent for playing or singing, but I have a good ear because I pay great attention when I listen. I love the stories the lyrics tell and a good picker can speak to you too.

Check out Greater Bakersfield on Dwight Yoakum’s Siriux XM Channel 349. The old boy knows his stuff.

Take care of yourself folks and feel free to send me an email anytime.