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Bakersfield Sound great Billy Mize dies at age 88

Bakersfield Sound great Billy Mize dies at age 88.

Billy Mize, a major contributor to the Bakersfield Sound, died Saturday at the age of 88.

Mize was a steel guitarist, bandleader, vocalist, songwriter and TV show host.

He was raised in the San Joaquin Valley and eventually moved to Bakersfield in his later life.

Mize helped spearhead the California county music scene along with Bill Woods and Herb Henson when they put together the "Cousin Herb Trading Post Show," which featured many acts including Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Bonnie Owens and Tommy Collins.

He appeared on many Los Angeles-based TV shows as a host, including the "Hank Penny Show" and "Cal Worthington Show" in 1957. He started his own syndicated show that ran in Bakersfield in 1966 called the "Billy Mize Show."

His best-known songs are "Who Will Buy the Wine" and "It Hurts to Know the Feeling's Gone," which hit No. 31 on the U.S. country charts in 1976.

Mize was also a staple of Haggard's band, playing steel and rhythm on many of his classics.

Mize was among the first group inducted into the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame.

He had a documentary made about him in 2015 called "Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound."

Mize is survived by two daughters.

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