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Honky-tonks and country music once helped to define Bakersfield, with artists like Merle Haggard and Buck Owens leading the way. But eventually the bands moved on, and Bakersfield is now known more for oil drilling than it is for wailing telecasters. Zócalo Public Square columnist Joe Mathews says Bakersfield's changing identity is a lesson for other other parts of the state like Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

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