Robert Price


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Journalist, Author

Robert Price has been a journalist his entire professional life, in fact, he wrote for the newspapers at his high school and colleges before landing a job at the Bakersfield Californian paper. He wrote for the sports section for several years and for over twenty years had his own column. In the 1990s he asked his editor if much had been written about the Bakersfield Sound, a topic that Robert soon became an expert. He wrote a series of columns covering the key elements of Country Music made famous by both Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Those columns were the foundation of his 2015 book The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized American Music. The book covered the clubs and saloons where the music was performed live, such as the Blackboard and the Rainbow Gardens. The book also includes the backstory of the lesser-known performers who contributed to the genre including Bill Woods, Fuzzy Owens, Ferlin Husky, Gene Moles, Kay Adams, and Wynn Stewart. Thanks to Robert’s research and writing skills, we now have a guidebook to that wonderful Bakersfield Sound!