Tommy Hays (born Thomas Avery Hays in Hartshorne, Oklahoma, in 1929) is a guitarist, band leader and vocalist; and is one of the last living members of the great musicians who created The Bakersfield Sound.
Hartshorne is a city in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, United States. It is the second largest city in the county. The population was 2,125 at the 2010 census. The community was named for Dr. Charles Hartshorne, a wealthy investor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was attracted by the potential profits offered by coal deposits in the area.
Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
He started playing the guitar in church when he was 10 years old. He performed on the Billy Mize TV Show, Cousin Herb Show, was a member of the house band for the Lucky Spotand the Blackboard and had his own radio show on KMPC. Tommy played on stage with many of the old timers who were part of creating the Bakersfield Sound. Tommy was in the band that gave Buck Owens his first gig, with Dusty Rhodes, at a bar called the Roundup.
William Robert Mize was an American steel guitarist, band leader, vocalist, songwriter, and TV show host.
Herb Henson, known as Cousin Herb, was a country music performer and television host on KERO-TV, channel 10 in Bakersfield, California. He is the first cousin once removed of musician Jeff Tweedy.
KMPC is a radio station based in Los Angeles, California and is owned by P&Y Broadcasting Corporation. Radio Korea is a division of the Radio Korea Media Group. The station airs Korean-language programming. It broadcasts news, information, and entertainment for the largest Korean-American community in the United States, and the largest Korean community outside Korea.
Tommy has been playing in the honky-tonks in and around Bakersfield for over fifty years. Recognized as one of the original “Bakersfield Sound” pioneers,he has helped forge this unique and definitive sound. Driven by the piano, steel and Telecaster guitar, the Bakersfield Sound was a reaction to the early ‘50s and ‘60s sweetening of country music epitomized by the Nashville Sound.
The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers. It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.
Steel guitar is a type of guitar or the method of playing the instrument. Developed in Hawaii by Joseph Kekuku in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a steel guitar is usually positioned horizontally; strings are plucked with one hand, while the other hand changes the pitch of one or more strings with the use of a bar or slide called a steel. The earliest use of an electrified steel guitar was first made in the early 1930s by Bob Dunn of Milton Brown and His Brownies, a western swing band from Fort Worth, Texas; the instrument was perfected in the mid to late 1930s by Fort Worth's Leon McAuliffe, who played for western swing band Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. Nashville later picked up the use of the steel guitar in the early days of the late 1940s and early 1950s "Honky Tonk" country & western music with a number of fine steel guitarists backing names like Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Webb Pierce. The term steel guitar is often mistakenly used to describe any metal body resophonic guitar.
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.
Along with the Western Swingsters which also included Big Bill Wilkerson, he released the CD 60 Years of Western Swing in 2006.
Tommy was inducted into the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in 2010.
He currently resides in Bakersfield, California, and still plays locally.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
James Robert Wills was an American Western swing musician, songwriter, and bandleader. Considered by music authorities as the co-founder of Western swing, he was widely known as the King of Western Swing.
Lester Raymond Brown was an American jazz musician who led the big band Les Brown and His Band of Renown for nearly seven decades from 1938 to 2000.
Ernest Dale Tubb, nicknamed the Texas Troubadour, was an American singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of country music. His biggest career hit song, "Walking the Floor Over You" (1941), marked the rise of the honky tonk style of music. In 1948, he was the first singer to record a hit version of Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson's "Blue Christmas", a song more commonly associated with Elvis Presley and his late-1950s version. Another well-known Tubb hit was "Waltz Across Texas" (1965), which became one of his most requested songs and is often used in dance halls throughout Texas during waltz lessons. Tubb recorded duets with the then up-and-coming Loretta Lynn in the early 1960s, including their hit "Sweet Thang". Tubb is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Alvis Edgar Owens Jr., professionally known as Buck Owens, was an American musician, singer, songwriter and band leader who had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts with his band the Buckaroos. They pioneered what came to be called the Bakersfield sound, named after Bakersfield, California, the city Owens called home and from which he drew inspiration for what he preferred to call American music.
The Sons of the Pioneers are one of the United States' earliest Western singing groups. Known for their vocal performances, their musicianship, and their songwriting, they produced innovative recordings that have inspired many Western music performers and remained popular through the years. Since 1933, through many changes in membership, the Sons of the Pioneers have remained one of the longest-surviving country music vocal groups.
Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands. It is dance music, often with an up-tempo beat, which attracted huge crowds to dance halls and clubs in Texas, Oklahoma and California during the 1930s and 1940s until a federal war-time nightclub tax in 1944 contributed to the genre's decline.
Roy Nichols was an American country music guitarist best known as the lead guitarist for country music legend Merle Haggard's band The Strangers for more than two decades. He was known for his guitar technique, a mix of fingerpicking and pedal steel-like bends, usually played on a Fender Telecaster electric guitar. Nichols is considered one of the founders of the country music subgenre the “Bakersfield Sound,” which includes such notable country artists as Haggard, Buck Owens, and Don Rich.
Billie "Tiny" Moore was a Western swing musician who played the electric mandolin and fiddle with Western swing legend Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the 1940s, and with The Strangers during the 1970s and 1980s.
Donald Eugene Ulrich, best known by the stage name Don Rich, was a country musician who helped develop the Bakersfield sound in the early 1960s. He was a noted guitarist and fiddler, and a member of The Buckaroos, the backing band of country singer Buck Owens. Rich was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1974 at the age of 32.
Thomas Elmer Duncan, better known as Tommy Duncan, was a pioneering American Western swing vocalist and songwriter who gained fame in the 1930s as a founding member of The Texas Playboys. He recorded and toured with bandleader Bob Wills on and off into the early 1960s.
The Bakersfield sound is a genre of country music developed in the mid- to late 1950s in and around Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield was the first genre of country music to be significantly influenced by rock and roll, and as a result, the first to rely heavily on electric instrumentation and a defined backbeat. It was also a reaction against the slickly produced, orchestra-laden Nashville sound, which was becoming popular in the late 1950s. The Bakersfield sound became one of the most popular and influential country genres of the 1960s, initiating a revival of honky-tonk music and influencing later country rock and outlaw country musicians.
Norm Hamlet is an American steel guitarist and a member of Merle Haggard's The Strangers band for the past 43 years.
Doyle Floyd Hendricks, known by the stage name Doyle Holly, was an American musician best known as the bass guitar player of the country music band Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and for his solo hit songs "Queen Of The Silver Dollar" and "Lila". Holly's contributions on bass guitar and rhythm guitar were a key component of the Bakersfield sound. The Buckaroos had more than 30 Top 40 singles on the country music charts in the 1960s and early 1970s, with 21 number one hits such as "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail," "Love's Gonna Live Here,"and "Act Naturally." Their sound influenced later artists such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, The Derailers and the Desert Rose Band.
The Buckaroos were a Grammy-winning band led by Buck Owens in the 1960s and early '70s, who, along with The Strangers, were heavily involved in the development and presentation of the "Bakersfield sound." Their peak of success was from 1965 to 1970. In 2005, CMT named the Buckaroos No. 2 on its list of the 20 Greatest Country Music Bands.
Bobby Durham is an American country musician associated with the Bakersfield sound. His hits include Do You Still Drink Margaritas; Playboy; Let’s Start a Rumor Today and the classic song penned by Merle Haggard My Past Is Present.
David Stout "Dave" Stogner (1920–1989) was one of the premier Western swing musicians playing on the West Coast. Known as the "West Coast King of Western Swing", Stogner moved to California to pursue a musical career with the encouragement from fellow Texan, Milton Brown.
The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde is the sixth studio album by Merle Haggard and The Strangers released on Capitol Records in 1968. It rose to number 6 on the Billboard country albums chart.
Bakersfield provides a wide variety of arts and culture.