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The Best of the Buckaroos

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Album Review

The 18 tracks on Sundazed's The Best of the Buckaroos are taken from nine out of print albums originally released on Capitol between 1965 and 1970, examining Buck Owens' backing band under the leadership of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and vocalist Don Rich. Rich never received the full credit he deserved for his role in making hits like "Tiger by the Tail," "Act Naturally," and "Love's Gonna Live Here" so unique for that era. Buck Owens' records would certainly have suffered without Rich's high harmony vocals and that twangy Bakersfield style of picking he championed on his Fender Telecaster. By the mid-'60s, the Buckaroos' sound had attracted a dedicated crossover audience, which found the band playing gigs at the Fillmore Auditorium and revered by such rock musicians as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jerry Garcia, and the Beatles. These 18 tracks demonstrate that Rich, pedal steel guitarist Tom Brumley, bassist Doyle Holly, and either Willie Cantu or Jerry Wiggins on drums were a top-notch country-pop outfit that made great records even without the charismatic Buck Owens at the helm. It should be noted that in 2000 Sundazed released the 24-track compilation Country Pickin': The Don Rich Anthology, with only two songs, "Buckaroo" and "Sad Is the Lonely," that overlap. Both sets are recommended.


Genre: Rock & Roll

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The Buckaroos were Buck Owens' backing band, led at its peak by Buck's lieutenant, Don Rich. That peak was the '60s through the early '70s, the time when Buck Owens was the biggest star in country and then a genuine television star thanks to Hee Haw, the cornpone knockoff of Laugh-In that started on CBS and thrived in syndication. So popular was Buck Owens that three or four Buck LPs a year weren't enough to satisfy the market. The Buckaroos stepped in to fill the void, releasing two LPs a year between...
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The Best of the Buckaroos, The Buckaroos
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