Southwest Shuffle documents an important period in country music history. During the '30s and early '40s, hundreds of thousands of Okies, Arkies, and other rural folks from around the Southwest resettled in California, in search of work. A country music scene quickly blossomed there, with performers playing Western Swing, Cowboy, and Honky Tonk country. After World War II, these styles rocked country music, leading to the invations of '60s performers like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in creating the so-called Bakersfield Sound. These stories are based on original interviews and archival research by one of the most respected writers on this period of country history. Kienzle writes in a vibrant style, reflecting his long-time love for these musical styles.
Rich Kienzle is a well-known writer on country music. He served as contributing editor to Country Music Magazine, has contributed to dozens of journals, and served as researcher, editor and principal writer for The Comprehensive Country Music Encyclopedia (Times Books, 1994). He has annotated over 200 albums, and has been an historical commentator on several Nashville Network documentaries. He lives in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.