Buck Owens

Buck Owens
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Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. was born in Sherman, Texas, on Aug. 12, 1929, and at age 3 or 4 nicknamed himself "Buck" after a mule on the family farm. The family moved west in 1937, settling in Mesa, Ariz., after their trailer hitch broke in Phoenix. Dropping out of school at 13, he taught himself to play guitar. By 1951, he had moved to Bakersfield, Calif., and eventually found success in its thriving country music scene. In the clubs of Bakersfield, Owens developed a trademark twisted-note style on his solid body Fender Telecaster. Initially recording as lead guitarist for Tommy Collins in 1953 (on "You Better Not Do That") and then singing for the small Pep and Chesterfield labels, Owens landed on Capitol Records in 1957. When his first single for Capitol fizzled, Owens moved to Puyallup, Wash., (a Tacoma suburb) to pursue a radio career. There he met Don Rich (real name Donald Eugene Ulrich), whose high, nasalized harmony vocals would combine with Owens' singing and chugging 2/4 freight train rhythm to make Owens' recordings distinctive. (Rich remained Owens' charismatic right-hand man until he died in a motorcycle accident in 1974.) In 1959, Owens hit with a recording of "Second Fiddle" in the Ray Price "shuffle" style. Later that year, the success of "Under Your Spell Again" led Owens to return to Bakersfield and form a band, the Buckaroos. In 1963, his recording of Johnny Russell's "Act Naturally" stayed at No. 1 for four weeks, and "Love's Gonna Live Here" spent 16 weeks atop the charts. Throughout the '60s, his recordings regularly topped the country chart including "My Heart Skips a Beat," "I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)," "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," "Before You Go," "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line," "Think of Me," "Open Up Your Heart" and "Where Does the Good Times Go." Encouraged by his manager, Jack McFadden, Owens began investing in entertainment properties. In 1964, they formed the OMAC booking agency, which eventually handled such clients as Merle Haggard, Joe and Rose Maphis, Wynn Stewart, Freddie Hart and Rose Maddox. In 1967, Owens launched Blue Book Publishing. (He sold the company to Tree in the 1980s, and his catalog is now a part of the giant Sony/ATV firm.) Moreover, Owens began to acquire and develop radio stations. (In 1999, Clear Channel bought his KNIX-FM in Phoenix for $84 million and his jointly-owned KESZ for $58 million.) Yet another feature of the Owens empire came through Buck Owens Productions, which produced his syndicated television series, The Buck Owens Ranch Show. Starting in 1966, the show was shot in "batches" in Oklahoma City, much as Hee Haw would later be done in Nashville. In all, 78 half-hour color shows were taped, and the show at its peak aired in around 100 markets. Several of these shows are now available on home video, and excerpts from them were used as country music videos in the late 1980s. Owen's top-notch band, The Buckaroos, won CMA's instrumental group of the year awards in 1967 and '68. Owens teamed with singer/multi-instrumentalist Roy Clark in 1969 to host Hee Haw, originally a show for CBS-TV. CBS dropped it in 1971, but the show continued as a syndicated effort. Besides introducing acts, telling jokes and appearing in skits, Owens and Clark had a "pickin' and grinnin'" spot in each show, and both sang and recorded in the popular Hee Haw Gospel Quartet. Owens withdrew from his Hee Haw hosting duties in 1986 and was never replaced although the show continued into 1994. With his recording career sagging, Owens was essentially reduced to being a face of Hee Haw until Dwight Yoakam came along in the mid-1980s. Like Owens, Yoakam was passionate about West Coast country music, and he was loud in his praise of the old master. In fact, Yoakam made so much noise -- including making a personal plea to his idol -- that Owens recorded (and made a music video of) "The Streets of Bakersfield" with him. It went No. 1 in 1988, the last time Owens has viewed the chart from that vantage point. Also in 1988, Owens re-signed to his old label, Capitol Records. That union resulted in two albums and five charted singles, none of which reached the Top 20. However, his "Act Naturally" duet with Ringo Starr did make it to No. 27 in 1989. It was accompanied by an amusing Old West-inspired music video in which Owens' manager, McFadden, played the sheriff and actor Vic Tayback (Mel on TV's Alice) played the bartender. In 1996, he was elected to both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Earlier that same year, he opened his opulent Crystal Palace in Bakersfield. He died on March 25, 2006.
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04/03/2006 - Singer Owens honoured at memorial - Read More
03/28/2006 - Music World Mourns Buck Owens - Read More
03/27/2006 - Buck Owens 1929-2006  - Read More
10/28/2005 - Buck Owens:The Pride of Bakersfield - Read More
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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 10

Buck Owens  09/16/2006            
Cody Behr
When one is exploring the country genre for the first time, you need not go any further than right here. Buck Owens is and was country music at it's finest. Very simple 5 and sometimes 6 piece band, with the million dollar sound. You want to talk about 2-part harmonies, Buck and his friend Don Rich (lead guitarist, fiddle, and accompanying vocals) had a chemistry when it came to their Bakersfield sound. Sadly the world lost Don Rich way to early in his career, and unfortunatly it also affected Buck and his career for a while. Then came Dwight Yoakum who brought Buck out of semi-retirement and started a Buck Owens renewal of his career with the Streets Of Bakersfield, a song that couldn't have said it better about Buck and the whole Bakersfield sound. Whatever critics have said in the past, weather it be good or bad there was no mistaking when you heard a Buck Owens song. I highly suggest to anyone starting a country music cd collection that this become one of your first purchases. Enjoy.
Buck Owens  05/25/2006            
Buck Owens  04/25/2006            
Shana Kersh
Buck Owens was a legend in Country music!! His music and his name will live on!!!
Buck Owens  04/03/2006            
R.I.P. Buck Owens.
Buck Owens  03/29/2006            
One of the classiest and all-time great country music artists, Buck never gave in to the pop-music-mongers who now inhabit and run Nashville. If you want to hear country music the way it should be, give a listen to anything by Buck Owens. May he rest in peace.
Buck Owens  03/28/2006            
Rest in peace Buck. You done us proud.
Buck Owens  03/25/2006            
A phenomenal artist that helped to shape the sound (and style) of country music.
Buck Owens  12/04/2005            
buck owens is a national tresure bob dansville n,y
Buck Owens  11/12/2005            
buck owens
hot dog album
Buck Owens  11/09/2005            
rebecca lewis
buck owens is awesomw
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