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21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection

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Editors’ Notes

Like Ray Charles, Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong, Buck Owens was a pioneering individualist who nonetheless managed to translate his particular music vision to a mass audience. Between 1959 and 1974 Owens remained a major force on the country charts, but the period between 1963 and 1967 represents an unparalleled dominance. During those years, every single Owens released became a #1 hit, and he averaged about three singles a year. Those songs — including “Act Naturally,” “I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail,” “My Heart Skips a Beat,” “Together Again” and many others featured in this collection — form one of country music’s foundational bodies of music. The Ultimate Collection is not ordered chronologically but it mixes in several essential but lesser-known #1 songs that Owens released outside of that golden mid-career run. 1969’s “Johnny B. Goode” (recorded live in London) is gloriously raucous, especially for a radio single, and it remains one of the all-time great renditions of that rock standard. His final #1 — 1972’s “Made In Japan,” a wistful romance — is a lost classic.

Customer Reviews

The boom at Buck's place!

This music is classic and so was Buck. Unfortunatly the sound produced from these recordings doesn't contain half the depth and fullness one recieved when watching Buck live. When this music came through the speakers at the Crystal Palace it sounded as if these songs were written yesterday. This CD is like a photograph that can't compare to the real thing. But when a picture is all that is left, it will have to do.

Classic Country Fan

Well, it's about time! All this new country doesn't hold a candle to Buck Owens. This brings back memories of "Hee Haw". I was disappointed that "Crying Time" didn't make it in this collection. If you're a fan of classic country you'll find some real gems here.

Country Music

If Buck Owens doesn't embody what country music was all about during the Sixties, I don't know who does. Always there with clever word usage (ala Roger Miller) and, with Don Rich, some of the greatest country harmonies and a good balance between misery and fun, Buck knew his time and his audience. I heard that John Fogarty was a fan: do, do, do looking out his backdoor.


Born: August 12, 1929 in Sherman, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard, was the leader of the Bakersfield sound, a twangy, electricified, rock-influenced interpretation of hardcore honky tonk that emerged in the '60s. Owens was the first bona fide country star to emerge from Bakersfield, scoring a total of 15 consecutive number one hits in the mid-'60s. In the process, he provided an edgy alternative to the string-laden country-pop that was being produced during the '60s. Later in his career, his musical impact was forgotten by some...
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