Buck Owens pre-Capitol 1950s recordings reissued on RockBeat

Buck Owens is synonymous with the Bakersfield sound of country music that also gave rise to the Maddox brothers and Rose, Tommy Collins, Ferlin Husky and in later years Merle Haggard.

Owens’ earliest recordings for independent labels in Southern California — ahead of his lucrative career on Capitol Records in the ’60s and ’70s — have been collected on Buck Owens — Bound for Bakersfield 1953-1956: The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection, scheduled for release on September 27 on RockBeat Records through e0ne Entertainment. The suggested retail price is $14.98.

The 24-song reissue opens with selections from his first known session in 1953 in Hollywood, which produced two singles (“Down on the Corner of Love” b/w “It Don’t Show on Me” and “The House Down the Block” b/w “Right After the Dance”) on Claude Caviness’ Pico Rivera-based Pep Records. It closes with a 1956 Bakersfield session that produced singles on Chesterfield Records and an album on La Brea Records. Included are previously unreleased alternate takes including an overdubbed version of “Hot Dog.”

Liner notes for Bound for Bakersfield were written by Rich Kienzle, a music historian with special expertise in West Coast country. RockBeat VP or A&R James Austin and Jim Shaw of Buck Owens’ Buckaroos compiled the collection.

According to Kienzle’s notes, “Buck Owens was 21 when he rolled into Bakersfield from Phoenix in May, 1951, a part-time musician and laborer who had his eye on a musical career. It would take some time. There were lessons to be learned and dues to be paid. But in the final analysis, the Buck of legend, of the raw honky-tonk vocals, catchy commercial tunes, twangy Fender Telecasters and churning, aggressive ‘freight train’ rhythms was forged in Bakersfield's honky tonks and recording studios there and in L.A. from 1951 to 1957.”

Owens is best known for his later Capitol Records hits like “Tiger by the Tail,” “Foolin’ Around” and “Act Naturally.” But his ’50s pre-Capitol recordings find him working in a honky tonk milieu (except for the rockabilly tracks such as the 1957 single “Hot Dog”). One can hear early flashes of the distinctive sound he'd perfect at Capitol, the sound that made him famous.

With his indie singles earning him both regional recognition and buzz from A&R departments at both Capitol and Columbia Records, Owens passed on New York’s Columbia (whose producer told Owens to “hold on” until he could come to the West Coast) in favor of Hollywood-based Capitol Records, which made him an offer on the spot. Owens was known to Capitol from his work on sessions by one of the originators of the Bakersfield sound, Tommy Collins. Buck’s own first Capitol session in 1957 aimed for a pop-rock audience, trying, as he later said, “to make the biggest hillbilly in Bakersfield into somethin’ he wasn’t.” In 1959, he was recorded as his true, honky-tonking self, with great success.

Kienzle notes, “Buck Owens was always known for his spot-on instincts. Clearly, his expectation that he’d have no recording career beyond Pep and the odd demo or two was a rare miscalculation. These raw, primal performances, blended with hundreds of hours onstage at the Blackboard (club in Bakersfield), were essentially part of a long rehearsal for the fame that came soon enough.”


Track List:

1.            Blue Love (with Studio Chatter) (1953)
2.            Down on the Corner of Love (Alternate Take) (1953)
3.            Down on the Corner of Love (1953)
4.            It Don’t Show On Me (Alternate Take) (1953)
5.            It Don’t Show on Me (1953)
6.            The House Down the Block (Alternate take) (1953)
7.            The House Down the Block (1953)
8.            Right After the Dance (Alternate Take) (1953)
9.            Right After the Dance (1953)
10.         Hot Dog (1955)
11.         Hot Dog (Overdubbed Single) (1955)
12.         Rhythm & Booze
13.         There Goes My Love (Alternate Take) (1956)
14.         There Goes My Love (1956)
15.         Sweethearts in Heaven (Alternate Take) (1956)
16.         Sweethearts in Heaven (1956)
17.         Honeysuckle (1956)
18.         Country Girl (Leavin’ Dirty Tracks) (1956)
19.         You’re Fer Me (1956)
20.         Blue Love (1956)
21.         Please Don’t Take Her From Me (1956)
22.         Three Dimension Love (1956)
23.         Why Don’t My Mommy Wanna Stay with Daddy & Me? (1956)
24.         I’m Gonna Blow (1956)

The 2008 Capitol Hill Block Party

Devotchka will play the Main Stage- for the Grateful Web

The 2008 Capitol Hill Block Party takes over Seattle's South Capitol Hill neighborhood July 25-26 with its best lineup yet. The Capitol Hill Block Party is an annual music festival that draws upon and showcases the best indie and underground rock in the US, with a special focus on its Northwest artists. Launched 11 years ago, the Block Party has evolved into one of Seattle's most anticipated outdoor music festivals. With over 50 bands on 4 stages, great food, and plenty of cheap beer, this is one of the best parties of the summer.

John Richards - KEXP Morning Show Host exclaims, "The Block Party has become the place that people go to discover any band worth discovering in Seattle.  With an added push towards better up and coming and some established alternative and independent bands in the mix, it's truly a great experience for anyone who attends.  It's also has become the one event that really brings the Seattle music industry together, albeit in the VIP section and somewhat intoxicated."

We have partnered with KEXP to broadcast selected live performances from several bands throughout the weekend. John Richards and Cheryl Waters and other KEXP DJ's will also be broadcasting their shows like from the festival Friday and Saturday day and night. And The crazies at The Stranger will also be filming and posting clips at their awesome music blog.

Partial proceeds from The Block Party benefit two excellent non-profits: Home Alive, which encourages violence prevention, and The Vera Project, a youth run all ages venue and recording studio in Seattle. 

The Block Party continues to be one of the least expensive festivals in the country, with tickets only $18 in advance and a 2 day pass for only $34.

 FRIDAY July 25

 4:00-4:30 Black Whales 
 5:00-5:30 The Pharmacy 
 6:00-6:45 Truckasaurus 
 7:15-8:00 Airborn Toxic Event 
 8:30-9:15 Champagne Champagne 
 9:45-10:30 Pleasure Boaters 
 11:00-11:45 The Heavy Hearts 
 12:15-1:00 Lesbian  


 4:00-4:45 Talbot Tagora 
 5:15-6:00 Abe Vigoda 
 6:30-7:15 Mika Miko 
 7:45-8:30 PWRFL POWER 
 9:00-9:45 Say Hi 
 10:15-11:15 Natalie Portmans Shaved Head 


 4:00-4:30 Black Eyes And Neck Ties   
 5:00-5:45 Head Like a Kite   
 6:15-7:00 Past Lives    
 7:45-8:30 The Emergency   
 9:00-10:00 The Dodo's   
 10:30-11:30 Jay Reatard   

 4:30-5:15 Common Market   
 5:30-6:15 U.S.E   
 6:30-7:15 Menomena   
 7:45-8:45 Girl Talk   
 9:15-10:15 Les Savy Fav   
 10:45-Midnight Vampire Weekend   

 Saturday July 26th

 2:00-2:30 Angelo Spencer   
 3:00-3:30 New Faces   
 4:00-4:30 The Whore Moans   
 5:00-5:30 The Loved Ones   
 6:00-6:45 Sleepy Eyes Of Death 
 7:15-8:00 Voyager One   
 8:30-9:15 Valella Valella    
 9:45-10:30 Feral Children   
 11:00-11:45 Book Of Black Earth 
 12:15-1:00 Zeke


 2:00-2:30 TBA 
 3:00-3:45 LP & BB 
 4:15-4:45 The Physics 
 5:15-6:00 Man Plus

 6:30-7:15 Black Elk 
 7:45-8:30 Akimbo 
 9:00-9:45 Grand Ole Party 
 10:15-11:15 Schoolyard Heroes


 2:00-2:30 Kristen Ward   
 3:00-3:30 The Hands   
 4:00-4:45 Darker My Love   
 5:15-6:00 The Builders and The Butchers   
 6:30-7:15 Jaguar Love   
 7:45-8:30 Throw Me the Statue   
 9:00-10:00 Steed Lord   
 10:30-11:30 Super Secret Special Guests! 

 2:00-2:45 Kay Kay And His Weathered Underground 
 3:15-4:00 Cave Singers   
 4:30-5:30 Kimya Dawson   
 6:00-7:00 Fleet Foxes   
 7:30-8:30 Chromeo   
 9:00-10:00 The Hold Steady   
 10:30-Midnight Devotchka