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Buck Owens: The Biographyby Eileen Sisk
Synopses & Reviews
Buck Owens was the top-selling country act of the 1960s, with more than thirty top ten singles and fifteen consecutive #1 hits. Inventor of the Bakersfield Sound, he was hugely popular not only with country fans but with rock fans too. The Beatles covered his songs; Gram Parsons idolized him; the Grateful Dead loved him. At least six marriages, several TV shows, and a publishing and media empire followed. And a number of current country stars, ranging from Dwight Yoakam to Marty Stuart, cite him as a major influence.
Yet never before has there been a book about Buck Owens. And the man that emerges from its pages is the polar opposite of the aw-shucks image he cultivated on Hee-Haw. A tight-fisted control freak with an outsized appetite for sex, Owens could be genial at one moment and ruthlessly cruel the next.
Buck Owens chronicles his rise from poverty as the son of a tenant farmer to one of the nations best-loved entertainers, worth at least $100 million when he died. It also reveals for the first time the circumstances surrounding the death of his bandleader, Don Rich. It is authoritative, counting among its myriad sources seven Buckaroos, the cohost and producer of Hee Haw, a former president and vice president of Capitol Records, numerous country singers, relatives, wives, lovers, and employees. This biography paints an unprecedented portrait of not only countrys biggest star of the 60s, but perhaps its biggest son of a bitch.
Retracing the life of Buck Owens—from his poverty-stricken youth as the son of a sharecropper to one of the nations best-loved and wealthiest entertainers—this biography pays tribute to the man and his music by revealing his genius, his warmth, his humor, his vulnerabilities, and his flaws. It is based on personal sources, including original and latter-day Buckaroos, the cohost and the producer of Hee Haw, the former president of Capitol Nashville, and numerous country singers, relatives, ex-wives, ex-lovers, and ex-employees. The result is a 360-degree profile of a shrewd businessman—the polar opposite of the aw-shucks image he cultivated on Hee Haw. Owens was the top-selling country act of the 1960s—with 21 number-one hits and 35 consecutive top-10 hits from 1962 to 1972, a total surpassed only by the Beatles. One of his major contributions to this era was his invention of the Bakersfield sound, mixing electric guitars with a rock 'n' roll beat, which became popular with country and rock fans alike. This biography details the rift Buck had with the Nashville establishment, his reasons for never becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the number of times Buck married, the truth about Buck posing in the nude for Playgirl, and his strained but professional relationship with Hee Haw cohost Roy Clark.
About the Author
Eileen Sisk is a former editor at the Tennessean, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the Washington Post and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. and the Society of Professional Journalists. She is the author of Honky-Tonks: Guide to Country Dancin and Romancin.
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Country » Biographies