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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.

Customer Reviews

First Ever Buckaroos Retrospective!

Spotlighting the flying fingers of Buckaroos guitar-picking whiz Don Rich, the full-bodied pedal steel of Tom Brumley and the rocksteady rhythm of bassist Doyle Holly backed by the solid beat of drummers Willie Cantu and Jerry Wiggins, this Buckaroos smorgasbord is the perfect introduction to the band that created the Bakersfield Sound behind country music Hall of Famer Buck Owens. Here's the definitive example of their forward-thinking style — an electrified honky-tonk sound that wowed the crowds wherever they played. This set clearly defines what made the vibrant Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos compelling enough to grab the country charts by the throat in the mid-'60s and not let go, while scoring plenty of cross-over pop-chart success at the same time.

I love Don Rich

and this compilation doesn't disappoint. The album review is incorrect, though: "Tumwater Breakdown" and "Buckaroo" also appear on "Country Pickin': The Don Rich Anthology." They are awesome songs and I don't mind owning them twice. Lots of toe-tappers on this album, but my favorite is "Pedal Patter." Sample the songs and listen to the Buckaroos at their best. Then buy this one and "Country Pickin'."


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...
Full Bio
The Best of the Buckaroos, The Buckaroos
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