—LOCATION: 110 miles north of Los Angeles.
—CLAIM TO FAME: Oil and agriculture are key industries. Birthplace of the "Bakersfield Sound," a twangy, honky-tonk style of country music that emphasizes pedal steel guitar. Bakersfield is mentioned in the first line of the Rolling Stones' 1978 hit "Far Away Eyes."
—TRIVIA: Named for Col. Thomas Baker in 1869. He settled on the banks of the Kern River in an area locals began referring to as "Baker's Field."
—NOTABLE BAKERSFIELDIANS: Country singers Buck Owens and Merle Haggard; former Chief Justice Earl Warren; Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford; four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears; the alternative metal band KoRn.
—TITLES: In 1990 was named an All-American City by the National Civic League. Forbes magazine this year ranked it the second-dirtiest city in the nation because of air pollution. Fresno, Calif., is the dirtiest.