Red Simpson, 'Bakersfield Sound' Pioneer, Passes
January 11, 2016 at 8:24 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS extends sympathies to family and friends of singer-songwriter RED SIMPSON, who died FRIDAY (1/8) in BAKERSFIELD, CA. He was 81.
Along with BUCK OWENS and MERLE HAGGARD, SIMPSON is credited with helping to pioneer what became known as “The BAKERSFIELD Sound,” utilizing electric guitars with elements of Rock and Western Swing, all of which were a stark contrast to what had become a slicker, Orchestra-driven sound originating from NASHVILLE in the late 50s.
Raised in BAKERSFIELD and a product of the club scene there, SIMPSON soon became a CAPITOL RECORDS label mate of OWENS and HAGGARD, penning songs with both and performing on HAGGARD’s “Okie From MUSKOGEE” single. But SIMPSON carved out his own niche with a series of trucker-themed songs in the mid-60s, starting with “Roll Truck Roll” and "Highway Patrol” in 1966. His most notable hit was 1971’s “I’m A Truck,” which attained a top 5 chart position. Services for SIMPSON are pending.