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Trivia / Buck Owens

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  • Career Resurrection: Dwight Yoakam sang a duet with Buck on "Streets of Bakersfield" in 1988, which gave Owens his first chart action in over six years and his first #1 since 1972.
  • Creator Backlash: In a posthumous tell-all book called Buck 'Em!, Owens stated that he disliked hosting Hee Haw, but did it for Money, Dear Boy:
    "I couldn’t justify turning down that big paycheck for just a few weeks work twice a year…So, I kept whoring myself out to that cartoon donkey."
  • Genre Adultery
    • His music was mainly country, but every now and then he'd throw a curveball such as the fuzztone in "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass." He also caught flack for recording songs that some critics said were not country songs, examples being 1969's "Johnny B. Goode," which Owens did rockabilly style; and a 1971 cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which was given a country gospel arrangement. Owens responded to criticism he was breaking a pledge he had made some years earlier (that he would never record a song that wasn't a country song) by saying he vowed only to not record in a pop country vein, not that he wouldn't record songs that were originally pop in rockabilly or other accepted country styles.
    • Owens' pledge to record only pure country music went completely out the window in the late 1970s when – still in a haze of grief over the 1974 death of his best friend Don Rich – he began recording music in a pop country style. It was for Warner (Bros.) Records, for whom he recorded from 1976 to 1981; although the music itself wasn't terrible, it was also devoid of the signature Buck Owens sound, something he himself has pointed out. To his credit, he blamed only himself for what he considered to be his worst music, and only one of his songs from his Warner Bros. era – "Play Together Again, Again," a duet he recorded with Emmylou Harris and just missed the top 10 of the country charts in 1979 – remains in print today.


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