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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.

More news for Buck Owens

CD reviews for Buck Owens

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 »»»
The Warner Bros. Recordings
It's a bit surprising to read the liner notes to a reissue - especially a pricey, deluxe package like those offered by Rhino Handmade - and find not only their author (in this case, veteran country music journalist Rich Keinzle), but the artist as well, more or less suggesting that the music contained therein is second-rate, but that's certainly the impression a reader is left with here. Buck Owens' move in from Capitol - the label with which he'd spent almost all of his »»»
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: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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