BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — For those who have adopted or rescued an animal: have you ever wondered what happened to these pets before they wandered into your life? That thought sparked a local author and illustrator to create a series of children’s books, the latest celebrating a musical style unique to Bakersfield.
When Teresa Adamo first published the book “Indy, Oh Indy Wanderin’ the Streets of Bakersfield” five years ago, she and illustrator Jennifer Williams-Cordova would have never guessed they’d now have six books in the series.
Their latest addition: “Indy, oh Indy: Learnin’ the Bakersfield Sound” is sure to teach readers both young and old about a piece of Bakersfield history.
“We wanted to make it because it was a project we enjoyed and maybe someone else would enjoy it too, and it just grew from there,” Adamo said.
“Indy, oh Indy: Learin’ the Bakersfield Sound” is a story for kids and adults that colorfully introduces readers to the unique musical style founded in Bakersfield during the 1950s with cute characters decked out in western wear while checking out some familiar places from the Fox Theater to local honky-tonks from decades ago.
“When you grow up here, there are things that are just here. And you don’t really take the time to think about them,” Willaims-Cordova said. “But when you are learning about it in a different way and really learning about the artists and the songs and the things that are represented, how unique it actually is, it makes you appreciate where you are from a little bit more, and realize it’s something that’s pretty special.”
Also featured in the book are country music legends that helped put the Bakersfield Sound on the map — including a nod to a famous Buck Owen’s song “Tiger by the Tail” illustrated on the inside cover of the book.
“I’ve learned a lot about the Bakersfield Sound. I’m not personally or I wasn’t until we did this book well educated on the Bakersfield Sound, so, I’ve even learned a lot through this book,” Williams-Cordova said.
The love of Bakersfield runs deep in the Adamo Family.
“Both of my boys play the music. They both play fiddle and my oldest son has started a band ‘The Soda Crackers’ and they really focus on the Bakersfield Sound,” Adamo told 17 News. “So, we’ve been going to a lot of their concerts, and I think that pushed me even more to think about what a book on the Bakersfield Sound could be.”
While each of the “Indy, Oh Indy” books highlights something different in the Golden Empire, the goal is the same: to teach readers about the place we call home while supporting local animal shelters.
“Having this book, creating these characters and helping everybody else love these special animals too has given us a platform to create real help and change in our community through what we’ve done,” Williams-Cordova said.
All of the “Indy, Oh Indy” books can be purchased at local retailers, including Sweet Surrender, Bobby’s Hallmark and the airport gift shop — just to name a few.
Adamo and Williams-Cordova will be at Cafe Smitten for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. selling books. They will also sign any of the books you purchase for yourself or as a gift.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of their first book, “Indy, Oh Indy: Wanderin’ the Streets of Bakersfield”, the book will be sold for $5 with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Bakersfield Strays organization.