More Buck Fer Yer Bang
:: Down On The Corner of Love ::
:: Down On The Corner of Love (1962) ::
:: You're Fer Me ::
:: You're For Me ::
Is Buck really gone? No. He's Not. Sure, I'm in denial, but humor me. Obviously I'm in a very fragile state of mind this week. So yes, I'm putting some more of his stuff out there because there's so much Buck, as Burt Reynolds says, my cup runneth over.
Here we have a couple of examples of Owens' songwriting prowess. The decidedly low-fi versions of "Down On The Corner of Love" and "You're Fer Me" were recorded in the mid-50s for the Pep label. I don't know who the musicians are, but the lap steel player can kind of get on your nerves after a while. Regardless, you can definitely tell that Buck was already a good singer and guitar picker, and at approximately 25 years old, not a bad tunesmith either. The obviously slicker versions of these two songs (with "You're Fer Me" now retitled "You're For Me") appeared on Buck's 3rd Capitol album, "You're For Me" in 1962. Ably produced by Ken Nelson, these versions never the less do come off as a bit too slick, with Buck fudging the melody lines here and there, no doubt thanks to years of on stage reinterpretation. Also, the Buckaroos were not yet his recording band, so these tracks lack some of the character that distinguishes his mid-60s recordings.
I don't think I did a very good job of conveying just how much I admire Buck Owens' contributions in the piece I wrote the other day. To be honest, I don't know if that's possible. One thing I didn't mention was Buck's "right arm" (as he called him), Don Rich. Buck met Don during the time he was working at a radio station in Tacoma, WA before his recording career took off. Although Don was mainly a fiddle player at the time, under Buck's tutelage, he burgeoned into an accomplished guitarist able to mock Buck's style to a tee, as well as providing close harmony vocals, the overall effect of which put the Louvin Brothers to shame.
Although other members of the Buckaroos came and went over the years, Don Rich was the one constant until his untimely death in 1974 due to a motorcycle accident. After Don's death, Buck fell into a period of profound depression that lasted for years. He let his recording career slide, and after retiring from touring in 1980, he took it easy and raked in the dough from "Hee Haw". You never get over losing your right arm, and Buck never did.
Although Don Rich isn't on any of the recordings I'm posting today, I mention this because he can be heard on "You Ain't Gonna Have Ol' Buck...", which I posted the other day. That was unfortunately one his last recordings, too.
So, if you believe in Rock & Roll Heaven, you gotta be pleased to know that Buck's got his right arm back after all these years. Charlie Louvin will have to wait.