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The Desert

California Steel Guitar Player Larry Petree And His Wife Die In The Mojave Desert

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CALIFORNIA CITY, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Larry Petree, a California musician who lent his talent on the steel guitar to numerous recordings during the Bakersfield Sound era, was found dead along with his wife in the Mojave Desert.

According to local NBC affiliate KGET, the bodies of Larry Petree and his wife Betty were discovered on a dirt road near the California City on Sunday afternoon.

Petree, who was 88, was discovered in the driver’s seat of their vehicle while Betty, his wife of 60 years, was found outside, leaning against the tire.

KGET reported that the Kern County Sheriff’s department does not suspect foul play and instead believes the couple ran out of gas.

Petree had performed a recent show at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame with the Soda Crackers and friends reported that he seemed somewhat disorientated during the event, with a friend telling KGET that they needed to lead the normally punctual Petree to the venue.

“We had the honor of having Larry as our steel guitarist at our first ever show in Bakersfield and had the even greater honor of playing with him for his last show a few weeks ago,” the Soda Crackers wrote on social media post after news of his death broke.

A native of Oklahoma, Petree relocated to Bakersfield in 1942 and performed for years with Tommy Hays and the Western Swingsters, as well with the occasional touring artist visiting the region.

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