The women of Bakersfield will be front and center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on December 15. The Museum will shine a spotlight on its The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country with a panel discussion and concert highlighting contributions from women to the musical era.
The panel discussion, titled California Angels: Women of West Coast Country, will feature Kay Adams, Lorrie Collins, Rosie Flores, Rose Lee Maphis and Country Music Hall of Fame member Jean Shepard. Moderated by California-based music journalist Scott B. Bomar, the women will discuss how the California country music scene shaped their careers.
Following the 11 a.m. panel discussion, Rosie Flores will take the Ford Theater stage at 2 p.m. for a concert. She will perform songs from her catalog as well as her latest release, Working Girl’s Guitar. She’ll also perform a collection of Christmas songs.
During her time in Bakersfield, Kay Adams won the Academy of Country Music Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1965. She released her hit “Little Pink Mack” and joined Buck Owens and Merle Haggard on the road. Lorrie Collins, a member of the Collins Kids with her brother Larry, personified the Bakersfield Sound with colorful costumes, energetic performances and frequent appearances on Town Hall Party.
Rosie Flores launched her career in Southern California and recorded her debut album in 1987 with producer Pete Anderson. Her 1995 album, Rockabilly Filly, featured duets with Wanda Jackson and Janis Martin, pioneers of the rockabilly sound. Rose Lee Maphis appeared on numerous West Coast TV broadcasts with her husband, Joe Maphis, with whom she recorded “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (and Loud, Loud Music).”
Jean Shepard’s “A Dear John Letter” was the first national hit created by Bakersfield songwriters and musicians, topping the charts in 1953. The song launched her career and she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011.