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Buck Owens

Guest Author: In Buck ‘Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens, Randy Poe helped Buck Owens posthumously tell his story. Below is excerpt from an interview with Randy Poe. To keep reading, go to Music Tomes.

Music Tomes: In the intro to the book you talk about meeting with Buck’s family about doing a biography and then being presented with the idea of turning it into an autobiography. First of all, what made you want to do a biography of Buck Owens?

Randy Poe: I wanted to do a book on Buck because I felt he was a phenomenal country artist who was incredibly under-rated, if not forgotten to a certain extent. It was much the same reason I wrote Skydog: The Duane Allman Story. Buck and Duane are both extremely important figures in American music, and up to this point very little has been written about either of them. In fact, Skydog was the first book ever written about Duane Allman, even though he’d passed away over thirty years before my book came out. So, I like to write about musicians who I feel deserve more attention than they’ve gotten, and to me, Buck Owens definitely qualifies as one of those.

MT: What kind of complications are there in creating the autobiography of someone who is no longer around to answer new questions or clarify anything?

RP: You bring up an excellent point. I can’t tell you the number of times I regretted not having the opportunity to ask Buck follow-up questions. On the tapes I was working with, he told so many great stories about his life. But, since he was just sitting alone talking into a cassette recorder, there was nobody there with him to get him back on track if he changed stories in mid-stream, or if he didn’t finish a sentence. Luckily, Buck’s office had kept literally thousands of newspaper and magazine articles that quoted Buck, so many times I was able to find him telling the same stories in greater detail than he’d told them on the tapes. Like I said at the beginning of the book, writing this thing was like trying to put together the most complicated jigsaw puzzle ever created.

To read the rest of the interview, go here!

Buck ‘Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens is the life story of a country music legend. Born in Texas and raised in Arizona, Buck eventually found his way to Bakersfield, California. Unlike the vast majority of country singers, songwriters, and musicians who made their fortunes working and living in Nashville, the often rebellious and always independent Owens chose to create his own brand of country music some 2,000 miles away from Music City – racking up a remarkable twenty-one number one hits along the way. In the process he helped give birth to a new country sound and did more than any other individual to establish Bakersfield as a country music center.

In the latter half of the 1990s, Buck began working on his autobiography. Over the next few years, he talked into the microphone of a cassette tape machine for nearly one hundred hours, recording the story of his life.

With his near-photographic memory, Buck 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; from his legendary Carnegie Hall concert to his multiple failed marriages; from his hilarious exploits on the road to the tragic loss of his musical partner and best friend, Don Rich; from his days as the host of a local TV show in Tacoma, Washington, to his co-hosting the network television show Hee Haw; and from his comeback hit, “Streets of Bakersfield,” to his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In these pages, Buck also shows his astute business acumen, having been among the first country artists to create his own music publishing company. He also tells of negotiating the return of all of his Capitol master recordings, his acquisition of numerous radio stations, and of his conceiving and building the Crystal Palace, one of the most venerated musical venues in the country.

Buck ‘Em! is the fascinating story of the life of country superstar Buck Owens – from the back roads of Texas to the streets of Bakersfield.

Pat Martino – 5 Performances in Philly!

Jazz fans will be able to hear Pat Martino and get an autographed copy of his memoir Here and Now! The Autobiography of Pat Martino, just published by Backbeat Books, at Chris’ Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia, next Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26 at 8pm and 10pm both nights (Four performances!).  The Spiral Bookcase will be selling the books.

On Sunday, Dec. 11, Pat will visit The Spiral Bookcase for another book signing event, this one cohosted by Main Street Music.

Watch Pat Martino on Philly.com video

 

Here and Now!: The Autobiography of Pat Martino

Here and Now!

By age 16, Pat Martino was already working as a member of R&B star Lloyd Price’s touring musical revue. By age 18, Martino moved to Harlem, where he quickly earned a reputation as a hard-bopping six-stringer with formidable chops throug

h a series of apprenticeships with the likes of honking tenor saxophonist Willis “Gaitor Tail” Jackson and Hammond B-3 organ master Jack McDuff. Martino made his auspicious debut as a leader at age 22 with 1967’s El Hombre on Prestige and followed with a string of potent recordings for the label that further established him as one of the most distinctive guitar voices on the jazz scene.

Then, at the peak of his powers, the bottom fell out. In 1980, he underwent surgery as the result of a nearly fatal brain aneurysm. The surgery left him without any memory of the guitar or his musical career. From that point, Martino undertook the long process of recovery, eventually learning how to play the guitar again; but more important, learning to transcend the instrument itself and live his life completely in the moment.

More than just the remarkable story of one of the most original and profoundly influential guitarists in jazz history, this extraordinarily revealing autobiography is also a survival manual, of sorts, in overcoming incredible adversity and learning to live in the here and now. Available for purchase here.