Saturday, March 25, 2006

In memory of Buck Owens (1929-2006)

Country music legend Alvis E. "Buck" Owens passed away early this morning at his Bakersfield, California home. The Buck Owens web site notice has these biographical remarks:

Buck was born on August 12, 1929 in Sherman, Texas. The son of a sharecropper, Buck traveled with his family to the Phoenix, Arizona area in 1937 as they searched for a better life. Eventually, they traveled to California's San Joaquin Valley, doing farm work. At a young age Buck vowed that when he grew up, he would not be poor. He found a way out of his family's poverty through his musical talent.

During the years I was born and raised in the Seattle area, my parents exposed me to a lot of country-and-western music on a day-to-day level. Buck Owens brought a very distinctive sound to his vocals and to his backup accompaniment (which became known in music circles as the "Bakersfield Sound"). I also recall watching "Hee Haw" when it was a current network telecast including Buck Owens.

Buck Owens left an amazing legacy, not only as a musician but as a businessman. While as an adult much of my musical focus has been in the realm of classical music, I have enormous respect and admiration for country music, particularly legacy artists active in the 1950s and 1960s when I was growing up. "And all ya gotta do is......act naturally!"..... "I've got a tiger by the tail and they can see!"..... "I've got you....under my spell again..."

My readers from Alberta are probably the ones most likely to understand my heartfelt love for vintage country music.

May God's mighty hand rest lovingly on Buck Owens' shoulders!