Welcome to the Buck Owens Fan Site, our tribute to the legendary Buck Owens. Here you can find rare pictures of Buck, videos, comments and memories from fans, and news about Buck. Feel free to leave your comments about the site, or any memories you may have of Buck in our Forum link in the above menu. We also welcome pictures that we will place in a special Fan Photo Album. Just send a message through the "Contact Us" link above and you'll be given an email address where you can send the picture to for posting. Thanks for looking. We hope you'll keep checking back as we are continually adding new content to our site. Your suggestions are also appreciated as well.
Let us remember Buck on his birthday today. Happy Birthday Buck!
Buck Owens was not from Bakersfield, but he found something he liked and decided to stay. Bakersfield was a benefactor of this fact. Buck Owens was a businessman. He invested his money wisely and becoming wealthy had to do with this fact not to mention his hard-work ethic. Buck started playing music when becoming a superstar did not necessarily equate to being wealthy, especially in the long-term. Encouraged by his manager, Jack McFadden, Owens began investing in entertainment properties. In 1964, they formed the OMAC booking agency, which eventually handled such clients as Merle Haggard, Joe and Rose Maphis, Wynn Stewart, Freddie Hart and Rose Maddox. Owens also launched Blue Book Music. He sold the company to Tree in the 1980s, and his catalog is now a part of the giant Sony/ATV firm. Moreover, Owens began to acquire and develop radio stations. In 1999, Clear Channel bought his KNIX-FM in Phoenix for $84 million and his jointly owned KESZ for $58 million. He continued to own KUZZ and KCWR until the time of his death. In addition, Owens also operated the Buck Owens Crystal Palace and several other media ventures including Camera Ads and Home Preview.
Buck's Days In Arizona
He learned chords on the guitar from his mother, but basically taught himself how to play. While in Mesa around 1945, he and 19-year-old guitarist Theryl Ray Britten landed a 15-minute show (for which they weren’t paid) called “Buck and Britt” over KTYL Radio in Mesa. KTYL had a 30-foot-long glass window facing its parking lot and “Buck and Britt” often had a drive-in studio audience for their shows. They also played at any local honky tonk whose bartenders let them pass the hat (in their case a soup bowl). Eventually they began playing at a Phoenix honky tonk known as the Romo Buffet.
Buck was hired to perform in Mac’s Skillet Lickers who played live at a gas station owned by Mac MacAtee. It was during this stint that Buck met a young lady by the name of Bonnie Campbell. They married in January of 1948 and their first son (Alan Edgar “Buddy” Owens) was born in May of that same year. They had a second son, Michael, in 1950. Buck and Bonnie divorced in 1953. They remained friends until Buck’s death. Bonnie Owens passed away a month later on April 24, 2006.
Buck Owens Moves To Bakersfield
Buck Owens decided that to further his career he needed to move to Bakersfield. His wife, Bonnie, had already moved there with their two children (Buddy and Mike). Besides that, Owens realized that the likes of the Maddox Brothers and Rose and Ferlin Husky were living there. Upon arriving in Bakersfield, he got a job playing for Dusty Rhodes. Four months later, he was hired by Bill Woods to be a member the Orange Blossom Playboys. He stayed with the band at the Blackboard Café for seven years.
Buck Owens got his big break when Ferlin Husky left Tommy Collins band because of the success he gained with the release A Dear John Letter – a duet he released with Jean Shepard. Collins hired Owens to be his lead guitar player (it is during this time that the photo of Owens, Collins, and Minnie Pearl included in the Grand Ole Opry exhibit downstairs was taken). Owens, of course, was playing guitar on Collins Capitol Recording sessions. It was there that Ken Nelson became interested in Owens as a solo act. This had to do with Buck Owens ability and his persistence.
Buck Owens Gets His Recording Contract
After recording records on the Lu-Tal (owned by Lewis Talley) and Pep labels, Buck Owens signed a contract with Capitol Records in 1957. The first two songs he recorded were not successful. He then moved to Washington State and purchased a one-third interest in a radio station in Puyallup (WA). He tried to sever his ties with Capitol records, but Capitol refused.
Buck Owens went back into the studio October 9, 1958 and recorded four songs. Second Fiddle rose to #24 on the charts. Even with the start of national success, Owens stayed in Washington for a while and hosted his own television show on KTNT-TV. It was there he met and hired Donald Eugene Ulrich (better known as Don Rich).
Owens first #1 record on Cashbox was Foolin’ Around in 1961. His first #1 on Billboard was Act Naturally in 1963. Buck Owens ended up with over twenty #1 records with his last solo #1 being Made in Japan in 1972.
In 1996, Buck Owens was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame.