Scott Joss was often praised as the "heir to the Bakersfield throne" because of his early association with Tiny Moore and Merle Haggard and his later affiliation with Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam. Born in Long Beach and raised in Redding, Joss was a native Californian whose roots ran deep. He learned to play fiddle from Jana Jae, the one-time wife and fiddle player for Buck Owens & His Buckaroos. Befriended by one of Bob Wills' surviving Playboys, Tiny Moore, Joss was encouraged to develop his talent on a professional level after winning numerous California State Fiddle Championships. In 1980, at the age of 18, he got the call from Haggard. His first show as one of the Strangers was at Carnegie Hall. Still a little green, Joss returned to Redding to continue working on his performance skills before joining up with Merle and the band on the road. While with the Strangers, Joss spent time with Bakersfield guitarman Roy Nichols, who saw great promise in the young fiddle player.