Personalities | Bill Woods | West Coast Scene | Country
(Musician, bandleader, 1924–2000)
Merle Haggard called him the ‘Grandpappy of Bakersfield’ and, during his 14 years leading The Orange Blossom Playboys at the town’s hottest honky-tonk, the Blackboard, he employed both Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, who were to define the Bakersfield Sound. A Texan by birth, he perfected his musical skills by entertaining fellow workers in the San Francisco shipyards and, later, played in both the Bob Wills and Tommy Duncan bands. Although he recorded sporadically, he achieved a regional hit with ‘Truck Drivin’ Man’ (1963) and Red Simpson wrote a fine tribute song, ‘Bill Woods From Bakersfield’.
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