Poets and Prophets: Red Simpson
One of the legends of the Bakersfield country scene of the 1960s, Red Simpson made his mark as a songwriter — his collaborations with fellow Bakersfield singer Buck Owens include “Close Up the Honky Tonks” and “Sam’s Place.” An Arizona native, Simpson moved with his family to California, and began playing Bakersfield clubs and recording in Los Angeles. Along with his songwriting, Simpson recorded a series of country albums in the ’60s that took the truck-driving mythos as its subject — like Del Reeves and Dave Dudley, Simpson was a poet of runaway rigs, fast waitresses and California turnarounds. You’ll hear virile vocals and rockabilly-influenced rhythms on such tunes as 1967’s “Jackknife,” from Simpson’s classic full-length, Truck Drivin’ Fool. He continued recording into the following decades: You’ll surely benefit from his transcendently silly 1979 “The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver,” Simpson’s last charting single.
The Country Music Hall of Fame
Show: 1:30 PM