The Autobiography of Buck Owens
written by Buck Owens with Randy Poe
preface by Dwight Yoakam, foreword by Brad Paisley
Born in Texas and raised in Arizona, Buck Owens eventually found his way to Bakersfield, California, 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. Owens’ records sold millions of copies, and his live concerts constantly sold out. In 1969, he began hosting the country comedy TV show Hee Haw, becoming a household name. Buck Owens became country music’s biggest star while breaking all the rules of Nashville.
In the latter half of the 1990s, Owens began working on his autobiography, Buck ’Em! (Backbeat Books, Nov. 2013, $29.99). Over several years, he spoke into a cassette tape recorder for nearly 100 hours, recording the story of his life. With his near-photographic memory, 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 and beyond. 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.”
Buck Owens made his successes look easy, but he was a hard-working and complex individual. While surviving the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression, he was filled with the drive “to be somebody.” He struggled to change his life and went on to change the lives of almost every other person he came into contact with. He worked harder than anyone else in the field of country music, and he did so on his own terms—tackling the stigma that only Nashville country was “real” country—with his revolutionary Bakersfield sound.
“To this day it still baffles me that the ‘twangiest,’ ‘honkey-tonkinest,’ ‘countryest’ music made in the ’60s was not made anywhere near Nashville, but in California by a Texan, actually.” —Brad Paisley, from the foreword
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 November 5, carry on the legacy of the country music superstar.
Nov. 5, 2013
6″ x 9″
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Buck Owens (1929–2006) is a country music legend who passed away seven years ago at age 76. His band the Buckaroos had 21 #1 hits on the Billboard country music charts, and he is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Randy 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. Poe has produced, compiled, and/or written the liner notes for over 100 albums. He is the former president of the California Copyright Conference and is on the advisory board of renowned folk music publication Sing Out! The former executive director of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, Randy Poe lives in Los Angeles and is available for interviews.