Bakersfield music legend Red Simpson dies at 81

Posted at 8:28 AM, Jan 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-09 17:08:27-05

He was a pioneer of the Bakersfield sound and sadly on Friday, Red Simpson passed away at the age of 81.


Red Simpson March 6, 1934--January 8, 2016It is with great regret that we share the news that the legendary Red...

Posted by Red Simpson on Friday, January 8, 2016

Simpson has been largely credited as one of the last living icons of the Bakersfield sound.

He suffered a heart attack in December after a concert in the Pacific Northwest.

But on Friday,  Simpson was found in a bedroom of his house unresponsive.

Simpson wrote hundreds of songs, many with Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, seeing music as his way to a better life than the one he had growing up.

Haggard paid tribute to Simpson on his Facebook page.



He played a huge part in the Bakersfield sound and was a dear friend of mine for over 50 years. One of the original musicians on "okie from Muskogee" RIP Red Simpson.

Posted by Merle Haggard on Friday, January 8, 2016


Local musicians at Buck Owen's Crystal Palace, a place where Simpson often played, remembered him as a man who will be very hard to replace.

A message was posted on Simpson's Facebook page saying "Thank You for the support and friendship. Good bless."

A show will be held in Simpson's honor at "The Rustic Rail" on East Norris Road this Saturday evening.


Saturday January 9thA show in honor of Red Simpson at the Rustic Rail147 E Norris Rd,Bakersfield, CA 93308Starts...

Posted by Red Simpson on Friday, January 8, 2016