Red Simpson, pioneer of the Bakersfield Sound, dead at 81

Red Simpson performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2012. (Photo courtesy of The Bakersfield Californian)

The Bakersfield Californian reports that Red Simpson, renowned songwriter, singer and peer to the likes of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, has passed away at the age of 81.

Simpson is reported to have passed away Friday afternoon at a hospital in Bakersfield.

Family friend Gene Thome told The Bakersfield Californian, "he seemed to be doing better. I was planning to go by and see him tonight."

Simpson was born in Higley, Arizona in 1934.

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