Buck %E2%80%98Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens

Randy Poe, Author, Buck Owens, Author
Buck Owens with Randy Poe . Hal Leonard/Backbeat, $29.99 (360p) ISBN 978-1-4803-3064-1
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4803-6691-6
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In the latter part of the 1990s, country music legend Buck Owens spent close to 100 hours speaking into a tape recorder in an effort to document his life. Though Owens died before he was able to complete that task, record producer and author Randy Poe (Skydog: The Duane Allman Story) transcribed those tapes, assembling the stories here in chronological order. His dutiful efforts pay off in this insightful and engrossing read. Poe personalizes the narrator and gives readers a true sense of the voice of the hardworking musician who helped define the Bakersfield sound and influenced countless musicians. Growing up in labor camps and sleeping in the car after his family fled the Dust Bowl instilled a work ethic that never left Owens. His professionalism and business savvy would serve he and his band well, as he navigated dubious record deals, created his own publishing company, bought radio stations, a TV station, and three newspapers, all of which helped him tremendously when his star began to dim. The real treat is Owens' near-photographic memory, as he recalls countless recording sessions, shows, and chart positions for his many singles that he takes great pride in. Owens's tales of playing everything from a rowdy honky tonk ("if a fight breaks out, don't stop playing—just start playing louder") as well as Carnegie Hall make for terrific reading as well as a reminder of how the music industry used to function. Even readers unfamiliar with Owens's massive body of work will find this to be an immersive and informative look at one of country's most influential and surprisingly humble musicians. (Nov.)
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