Beginning with Woody Guthrie and Merle Haggard, this chapter introduces the social movement of country music in Los Angeles. It follows the history of country music culture in Southern California from the height of the Dust Bowl migration in the mid-1930s to the relocation of key components of the local country music industry to Nashville in the early 1970s. The chapter discusses Okie country music and the rise and fall of an eclectic liberal populism, and also reassesses the cultural politics of country music. It concludes that the cultural ethnicity of country music is the Grapes of Wrath culture, a testament to the fans and performers that the Okie experience continues to resonate so powerfully within country music today.
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