Skip to content

Directed by William J. Saunders

United States 2014 100 mins.

Billy Mize was instrumental in defining the Bakersfield Sound, the exhilarating, innovative movement that both changed country music and influenced everyone from Elvis and The Beatles to The Grateful Dead. A gifted musician and songwriter, Mize was also a committed family man and the rare artist who traded fame for home. Mize’s little-known story, full of triumph and tragedy, along with a fascinating history of the Bakersfield sound, is brought to light with wonderful archival footage, rare photos, interviews, and a soundtrack of Bakersfield hits with country legends like Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Mize himself.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.