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Rare Buck Owens, Merle Haggard Recordings Featured On Upcoming Box Set

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Bear Family Records is set to release a 10-CD box set telling the story of how a country music cottage industry transformed Bakersfield, California, into the Country Music Capital of the West.

The box set, due to be released on August 9, includes rare recordings by country music icons Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

The collection also features guitar hero Don Rich and dozens of artists like Ferlin Husky, Dallas Frazier, Jean Shepard, Wynn Stewart, Tommy Duncan, Red Simpson, and Kay Adams.

The Bakersfield Sound 1940-1970 box set includes an early recording of Haggard singing "I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can," which has long been thought to be missing.

"I'd heard he'd recorded it for Tally, but nobody ever heard it and it was assumed it was lost," the box set's producer Scott Bomar told Billboard.

"When I started beating the bushes and putting things together, someone handed me a tape box that was just labeled 'Merle' -- I think it was under somebody's bed somewhere -- and said, 'I don't know if anything on here would be of any interest, but check it out to see.' It turned out to be the original version of that song, which is quite a bit different than the Capitol version he recorded a few years later," he added.

"It was a real find, quite a nice historical glimpse into that moment in the studio," according to Bomar.

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