Buck Owens' 2-CD 'Buck 'Em' traces musical evolution 1955-67

If someone thinks they’ve got a cooler Buck Owens collection, we’ve got two words for them: Buck ’Em! As the newest release in its continuing and acclaimed reissue campaign, Omnivore Recordings is proud to announce Buck Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967) — an anthology of a different kind. The fifty tracks here virtually define the Bakersfield sound, from the beginning of Buck’s recording career to the end of the classic Buckaroos lineup (Don Rich, Tom Brumley, Doyle Holly, and Willie Cantu), the period that established Owens’ biggest hits and influence as a hard-edged alternative to increasingly slick Nashville production. The collection will hit stores on November 5, 2013.

Eleven #1 hits are included, but in true Omnivore fashion, “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail,” “Love’s Gonna Live Here,” “I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me),” “Sam’s Place,” and “Before You Go” are in their original mono single versions. Live versions (including some from the historic Carnegie Hall concert) of “Act Naturally,” “Buckaroo,” and “Together Again” are featured and alternate versions of “My Heart Skips A Beat,” “Where Do The Good Times Go,” and “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone” make their U.S. CD debut. With the addition of a previously unissued version of “Under The Influence Of Love” and the CD debut of Omnivore’s sold-out Record Store Day single “Close Up The Honky Tonks,” this collection shapes up to be indispensable to not only fans of Owens and the Buckaroos, but any fan of classic country music.

Beginning with three Pep Records sides from 1955-56 through 1967’s triumphant tour of Japan, Buck Em! tells the story of Buck Owens like no other release has. The set will be released as a companion to the upcoming Buck Em! The Autobiography Of Buck Owens by Buck Owens with Randy Poe, coming November 5 from BackbeatBooks, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group. Featuring liner notes taken from the book, detailed session information, and rare photos, Buck Em! looks to be the audio release that every discerning country music fan will want for Christmas. (Good thing it also contains the original mono single version of “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy”!)

Buck Em! works as a great introduction to the new Buck Owens fan, and a fascinating listen with some new rarities for the longtime one. It’s hard to believe this much music came into the world in only 12 years, but Buck Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967) proves it was not only Buckin’ possible, but Buckin’ incredible.