Buck Owens, RIP


The king of Bakersfield is dead, long live the Bakersfield sound.

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  1. As a long-time appreciater of Hee Haw, Roy Clark is very lucky he got brought along for the “ride.”

  2. Buck was the epitome of country cool back in the day. I think alt-country owes as much to him and the Bakersfield sound as to anything. He will be missed.

  3. He wrote one of the few songs the Beatles recorded that they didn’t write themselves. What else does one need to say? I mean, the Beatles thought he was cool in 1965.

  4. Ruthless,

    Roy Clark is a musicial legend in his own right.

    As both a guitarist and banjo player, Clark is a virtuoso. He is also skilled in Classical and Spanish guitar, in addition to playing several other instruments. While he has had hit songs (e.g. “Yesterday, When I was Young” and “Thank God and Greyhound”), his instrumental skill has had an enormous impact on succeeding generations of both bluegrass and country musicians.

    At the age of 14, Clark began playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin, and he won two National Banjo Championships by the age of 17. He was simultaneously pursuing a sporting career, first as a baseball player, and then as a boxer, before switching over to music full time. At the age of 17, he had his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.


    In 1983, Clark opened the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre in Branson, Missouri, becoming the first famous country music star to have his own venue there, and launching a trend which would eventually cause Branson to become an important center of country performance.

    The Owens-Clark collaboration was mutually beneficial although, in both cases, the cornpone of the show overshadowed their musicianship. But they were at least well compensated for the tradeoff.

  5. Sad. I’m hoping I get a chance to see Merle Haggard in concert just once before he joins Buck Owens in the big Honky Tonk in the Sky.

  6. Austin, TX, the home of the annual non-Bakersfield Buck Owens Birthday Bash at the Continental Club, is in mourning this weekend, and possibly into Monday.

  7. Hey Mike,
    You should definitely check out Merle, no offense to Buck but he is about the best country singer alive today. As far as Mr. Owens goes,forget about HeeHaw and put on a CD of Ray Charles singing “Cryin’ Time Again” and you have an inkling of Buck’s musical stature.

  8. Owens was a legit musical legend…but you sure can’t diminish Roy Clark’s considerable talents. When I was a teenager I briefly took guitar lessons from a fairly successful session/touring musician. At the time I thought the coolest thing about him was that he was personal friends with Rick Neilsen and Robin Zander from Cheap Trick. Anyway, he’d played with a virtual who’s who of music and said that Roy Clark was the most talented musician he’d ever played with and would get his vote for the best all around guitarist in the world.

  9. Jim,

    I don’t think I could put Roy Clark above Chet Atkins, but Clark is definitely one of the elite guitarists in country music history.

  10. George Jones yet lives.

  11. Buck Owens was a writer of songs with great lyrical hooks. He possessed a barely adequate voice, but he knew his limitations and did not try to exceed them. He did however have great stage presence. His greatest talent may have been to surround himself with great musicians and treat them well.

    However, it is little wonder that without Don Rich providing the high tenor harmony and that distinctive Fender guitar sound that the hits grew infrequent after 1974. In my mind the voices of Buck Owens and Don Rich were as important to Country Music as Phil and Don Everly were to Rock-a-billy.

    I pray their voices are “Together Again.”

  12. I think alt-country owes as much to him and the Bakersfield sound

    Whatever ‘alt-country’ may owe Buck Owens & the Bakersfield sound, I’d say what it owes the rest of us is some decent music finally, after all the hype we’ve been hearing about it for ten years or so. I swear, not since the first punk rocker shouted 1-2-3-4 has there been less delivered on a musical promise than this crappy ‘alt-country.’

  13. I like alt-country, except for the politics.

  14. “I like alt-country, except for the politics.”

    You mean in that it represents a return to country’s political roots? Or should Toby Keith be the true standard bearer?

  15. For anyone who doesn’t like alt-country, listen to Wiskeytown and then tell me what you think. The problem with alt-country primarily has to do with Steve Earl. Earl has to be the most overrated musician of the last 20 years at least. He did a couple decent songs here and there and spent the rest of the time shooting up on heroin and making stupid statements about the death penalty. A lot of people who hate alt-country do so because all they ever hear of it is Steve Earl.

  16. He wrote one of the few songs the Beatles recorded that they didn’t write themselves. What else does one need to say? I mean, the Beatles thought he was cool in 1965.

    Yeah, but they assigned the vocals to Ringo. Ringo’s cool, but not the best voice.

  17. If a tear should fall,
    If I should whisper her name,
    to some stranger I’m holdin’
    while we’re dancing to an old Buck Owens song,

    I know she won’t mind
    she won’t even know
    she’ll be dancing with a memory
    crying teardrops of her own.

    -Dwight Yoakam

  18. Or should Toby Keith be the true standard bearer?

    False dichotomy. What I’m saying is, a pox on all their houses; I’m just fed up with musicians shooting their yaps off about politics.

  19. R.I.P., buckaroo.

    As for “alt-country”, can anyone tell me why that goddess, Kelly Willis, and the-luckiest-sumbitch-in-the-world, Bruce Robison, are flogging allergy meds on the Tee-Vee? What artists will do when the radio won’t play their records!


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