March 25th 2021 will mark the 15th anniversary of the death of Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr., the American Country music singer, musician and songwriter from Bakersfield, CA.
“Buck” Owens and the Buckaroos had 20 number one hits on the Billboard country music charts beginning with “Act Naturally,” released in the spring of 1963. It was so popular even the Beatles covered it in 1965 with Ringo Starr as the lead vocalist.
The song shot Owens career to the top and was the beginning of one of the longest streaks in music history: 15 consecutive number one singles!
Just before the release of “Act Naturally,” Owens’ bass guitarist thought of a name for the band. From that point on, Buck Owens was backed by the “Buckaroos.”
The bass player went on to better things in country music. His name was Merle Haggard.
Owens followed it up with “Love’s Gonna Live Here,” which spent 16 weeks as number one on the Country chart.
At this point Owens could do no wrong releasing “My Heart Skips a Beat,” “Together Again,” “I Don’t Care (Just as Long as You Love Me),” and “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail.”
By the summer of 1969, while CBS was looking for a summer replacement for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Owens was so popular, he was selected as a host for television’s country answer to the prosperous Laugh-In program. Hee-Haw debuted, and with Roy Clark as his sidekick, Owens became an even bigger star.
“The good thing about doing that show was that I only had to go in two times a year, in June and October, to tape segments that they would spread out through each show throughout the season,” Owens explained.
Hee Haw was so popular CBS continued the program into the fall and lasted 24 seasons until September 19, 1992.
In 1988 Owens returned semi-retirement for a comeback duet with Dwight Yoakam in “Streets of Bakersfield.” It was his first number one single since 1972’s “Made in Japan.”
Following are the five best all-time lyrics of Buck Owens:
5. “Act Naturally”
“Well, I’ll bet you I’m a gonna be a big star
Might win an Oscar, you can never tell
The movie’s gonna make me a big star
‘Cause I can play the part so well
Well, I hope you come and see me in the movie
Then I’ll know that you will plainly see
Biggest fool that’s ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally”
Owens was at the point that he was about to give up on his singing career but the release of his 1963 album ‘The Best of Buck Owens’ brought him his first two number one hits. “Act Naturally” and “Love’s Gonna Live Here” were the first of 21 number one singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
In 1989, Owens teamed up with Ringo Starr to record it together. They received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Vocal Collaboration for this single.
4. “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail”
“Well, ev’ry night you drag me where the bright lights are found;
There ain’t no way to slow you down
I’m as ’bout as helpless as a leaf in a gale;
And it looks like I’ve got a tiger by the tail
I’ve got a tiger by the tail, it’s plain to see;
I won’t be much when you get through’ with me
Well, I’m a losing weight and a turnin’ mighty pale
Looks like I’ve got a tiger by the tail”
3. “My Heart Skips a Beat”
“You came into my life without a warning
And you turned my cloudy skies from gray to blue
You’re my sunshine that comes up every morning
Yes you are my every dream come true
And my heart skips a beat when we walk down the street
I feel a trembling in my knees
And just to know you’re mine until the end of time
Makes my heart skip a beat”
2. “Under Your Spell Again”
“Well, everybody tells me that I’m a fool
That I never should have put my faith in you
And way down deep inside I guess I know it’s true
But no one else can make me feel the way you do
You’ve got me under your spell again
Sayin’ those things again
Makin’ me believe that you’re just mine
You’ve got dreamin’ those dreams again
Makin’ those things again
I’ve gotta take you back just one more time”
1. “Together Again”
“Together again my tears have stopped falling
The long lonely nights are now at an end
The key to my heart you hold in your hand
And nothing else matters now we’re together again
Together again the gray skies are gone
You’re back in my arms now, where you belong
The love that I knew is living again
And nothing else matters now we’re together again”