The Stones rolled into Bakersfield 50 years ago: Our report then

Remember when the Rolling Stones came to the Civic Auditorium in Bakersfield in 1966? The Californian was there.

On their 1966 U.S. tour, the Rolling Stones — the bad-boy British Invasion counterparts to the slightly-cleaner-cut Beatles — stopped in several major cities: Washington, DC, New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston. Sandwiched between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles was a July 24 tour stop in Bakersfield, not a sprawling metropolis 50 years ago, but packed with enough Mick and Keith fans to justify two shows at the Civic Auditorium, now called Rabobank Theater.

We were tipped off to the 50th anniversary of the concerts by Nick Wynne, marketing director for the Rabobank

Merle Haggard on stage in Oakland Feb. 13, the date of his final public performance. At left is his son Ben on guitar. Ben and his brother Noel will perform in Bakersfield on Oct. 6, six months to the day of their dad's death.

Singing themselves back to Dad's home: Merle's sons to perform

Performing Dad’s hits is one thing. Performing them in Bakersfield for the first time since Merle Haggard’s death should be an emotional experience for Ben and Noel Haggard, not to mention hometown fans of their legendary father. The two will join Haggard’s longtime band the Strangers at a concert

Nicole Parra, Mary K. Shell and Pauline Larwood. As Hillary Clinton is poised to become the first woman nominated to run for president by a major political party, The Californian took the opportunity to catch up with Kern's trailblazing women in politics. “Gender does make a difference,” said Larwood, the first women elected to the Kern County Board of Supervisors. “The board — any board — works better when there are women members.”

They, too, were first: Shell, Larwood, others on women in politics

American women have been allowed to vote since 1920, but their election to political offices has been slow and sporadic. Writing recently in The Sacramento Bee, Rachel Michelin, chief executive officer of California Women Lead, noted the dearth of women now serving in national, state and local



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  • Thousands of women line both sides of Locust Street in St. Louis, Mo., as male delegates walked into the Democratic National Convention in 1916. Forming the “Golden Lane” silent protest, the women demanded the right to vote. One hundred years later, that same political party is expected to nominate a woman to be its U.S. presidential candidate.

    Her-story: Kern's trailblazing women reflect on Hillary nom

    On a sweltering day in June 1916, thousands of women lined both sides of Locust Street in St. Louis, Mo. Wearing white dresses and holding yellow parasols, they stood in silent protest as the male delegates walked into the Democratic National Convention. There was no doubt about what the women

  • PETE TITTL: Humble Mexican place has best seafood in town

    It’s kind of interesting that when it comes to seafood restaurants, most of Bakersfield’s strongest options are Mexican places. Yes, we have that famous chain on Rosedale Highway that always seems to leave me bankrupt and disappointed when I leave, and the great fish and chips from Westchester

  • Carnival rides are a main attraction at the Kern County Fair, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

    My fair memory: First date in 1971, plus great times with daughter

    Carole Lynn Anderson mailed us her memory: It was the early fall of 1971 when I was taken to my first Kern County Fair. I had moved from the high desert and had spent my sophomore year not knowing anyone! The West High Viking Marching Band was practicing for our first home game my junior year. I

  • Aaron Eaton with ribbons he has won for the various collections he has displayed over the years at the Kern County Fair.

    My fair memory: Exhibits and collectibles are the best

    Aaron Eaton, an employee at the Kern County Fair, wrote in with his favorite memories of the fair: I always enjoy going to the fair. There’s always so much to see at the fair. I enjoy the rides, the food, the fine art, the livestock, but the best of all is the exhibits and collectibles. I have

  • Last Call, from left: Bill O'Neill, Jeff Davis, JT Simpson, Roger Hoinacki.

    MATT MUNOZ: Last call is usually the first call any bar makes

    By show of hands, how many reading this column have found yourself singing along, dancing or stumbling at a Last Call gig? If your hand is still raised, you’re not alone. One of Bakersfield’s busiest groups, Last Call has carved out a solid reputation as “a band for all occasions” since forming

  • Ruby, left, and Jordan perform the opening number on "So You Think You Can Dance" on Monday. Judge Nigel Lythgoe praised both girls, but called Bakersfield's Jordan "a star."

    Judge confirms what we knew: Jordan's a 'star'

    Bakersfield dancer Jordan Nata’e Wandick has her half-open eye on another competition series she’d like to audition for: “So You Think You Can Sleep.” But judging by her star-making performances so far on that other competition she’s in the process of crushing, a new TV commitment will have to

  • Celebrity chef Simon Majumdar will take part in Explocious at the Fresno Food Expo July 28 where the public can sample dishes made by area restaurants.

    It's thought for food at Fresno Expo

    It comes as no surprise for those in Kern County how much produce comes out of the San Joaquin Valley. But for those beyond driving distance of our orchards, fields and dairies, there is more to learn. And that’s where, starting in 2011, the Fresno Food Expo comes in. The event brings regional,

  • "Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place" author Vanta M. Black (aka Desiree Duffy) will sign copies of her book July 22 at Barnes & Noble as part of its Get Pop-Cultured series of events.

    STEFANI DIAS: Sisters contend with dark forces in book

    Most writers embrace the axiom of “write what you know.” And while Vanta M. Black’s debut novel, “Oubliette — A Forgotten Little Place,” takes inspiration from real life, there is definitely some creative license. “Real life is an inspiration but I caution people don’t read it exactly,” said

  • Local teacher Carrie Swidecki will attempt the world record for most high scores achieved on a dance video game series in 24 hours at Otto's Video Games and More this weekend. “People are welcome to come and dance,” Swidecki said. “I want them to be a part of it. It’s a celebration of being fit.”

    Local teacher 'Just Dancing' her way to world record

    Beating a high score is a feat for a gamer. When you’ve already done your best on a video game, how do you do even better? One local woman will have her work cut out for her as she attempts a world record of the most high scores achieved on a dance video game in 24 hours this weekend. It’s a good

  • From left, NaTesha Johnson and Kristopher Evans, organizers of the Bakersfield Wing Festival, and Terri Agcaoili of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Kern County, which is a beneficiary of the local food event taking place July 23.

    New food fest earning its wings

    If anything can bring a community together, undoubtedly it is food. And while Kern County has a number of events designed to do just that, at least one has been missing: a wing festival. For years, Kristopher Evans dreamed of combining his love of chicken wings and his hometown into an exciting