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Buck autobiography drops Tuesday

Monday, November 4, 2013 – Buck Owens' autobiography, "Buck 'Em!," comes out Tuesday, seven years after his death.

In the latter half of the 1990s, Owens began working on the book. Over several years, he spoke into a cassette tape recorder, totaling nearly 100 hours of memories and recording the story of his life. He recalled everything from his early days wearing hand-me-down clothes in Texas to his glory years as the biggest country star of the 1960s.

Grammy-nominated producer and author Randy Poe assembled all of Owens' stories and transcribed them so that they are in Owens' own words. In the preface of the book, Dwight Yoakam says, "The stream of stories throughout this book captures, with an uncanny accuracy, the way I heard Buck speak whenever he told a story to someone."

Born in Texas and raised in Arizona, Owens eventually found his way to Bakersfield, Cal., where he created his own brand of country music some 2,000 miles away from Music City. Inspiring everyone from ordinary music fans to The Beatles, he changed the way country records were mixed, produced, written and perceived. In 1969, he began hosting the country comedy TV show "Hee Haw," becoming a household name.

Poe is the president of Leiber & Stoller Music Publishing in Los Angeles. He is a Grammy-nominated record producer and an award-winning author whose books include the bestseller "Skydog: The Duane Allman Story" and "Stalking the Red Headed Stranger."

"Buck 'Em!: The Autobiography of Buck Owens and Buck 'Em!: The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967)," a two-CD set being released as a companion to the book from Omnivore Recordings on Nov. 5.

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CD reviews for Buck Owens

Country Singer's Prayer CD review - Country Singer's Prayer
When the hits stop coming, country labels move on; loyalty is fleeting, never mind 19 number 1 hits (14 consecutive), more than 40 Top 10 songs, and 15 years with a label. Buck Owens found that out in the mid-'70s as his contract with Capitol was coming to an end, and the label shelved his final album of new material. Unheard since that time except through the expansive Bear Family box-set "Tall Dark Stranger," these recordings hold interest for those who appreciate encountering »»»
Live from Austin, TX
It was hard to find a more significant country artist through the 1960s than Buck Owens. With 21 number ones from 1963 ("Act Naturally," included here) and 1972, including a stretch of 14 in a row, Buck Owens was one of country music's biggest stars, bringing his slant on the Bakersfield Sound to stages, radio and television around the world. In this 1988 Austin City Limits program and nearing 60 years old, Owens appears comfortable with his stature as a torchbearer. »»»
Bound for Bakersfield: 1953-1956 The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection CD review - Bound for Bakersfield: 1953-1956 The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection
Buck Owens had not yet developed the style that would make him a superstar in the '60s when he recorded the songs in this collection for small California labels Pep, Chesterfield and La Brea Records between 1953 and 1956. The Hank Williams influence is heard in the balladBlue Love, Owens' first known recording, as well as early Owens compositions Right After The Dance, Down On The Corner Of Love and It Don't Show On Me. Other impressive Owens compositions are the George Jones »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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