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Act Naturally: The Buck Owens Recordings 1953-1964

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
By 1965, Buck Owens' star shone so brightly that even the Beatles -- the biggest band the world had ever known -- wanted to follow in his footsteps, covering his hit single "Act Naturally" on their Help! album, thereby kick-starting the golden era of country-rock in the late '60s. Thanks to the Beatles, many young rock & rollers now turned to Buck's Bakersfield sound as their template for what country music should be, reinvigorating rock & roll by adding what they learned from country, essentially reversing the equation Owens came up with at the start of the '60s, when he applied everything he learned from rock & roll to create the signature sound of...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
By 1965, Buck Owens' star shone so brightly that even the Beatles -- the biggest band the world had ever known -- wanted to follow in his footsteps, covering his hit single "Act Naturally" on their Help! album, thereby kick-starting the golden era of country-rock in the late '60s. Thanks to the Beatles, many young rock & rollers now turned to Buck's Bakersfield sound as their template for what country music should be, reinvigorating rock & roll by adding what they learned from country, essentially reversing the equation Owens came up with at the start of the '60s, when he applied everything he learned from rock & roll to create the signature sound of that decade. Buck was grounded in '50s country but he had his head turned by rock & roll, eventually threading in the driving backbeat and electric guitars to his honky tonk background. This sound -- lean yet powerful as a locomotive, all fueled by the twin guitars and harmonies of Owens and his right-hand man, Don Rich -- became known as the Bakersfield sound, and it dominated country in the '60s, ruling the charts while creating scores of imitators and acolytes from Merle Haggard to Gram Parsons and Dwight Yoakam. The creation of that sound has never been as well documented as it is on Bear Family's 2008 set Act Naturally: The Buck Owens Recordings 1953-1964, which runs five discs and 159 tracks. Sometimes these big Bear Family sets are heavy on unreleased tracks, but that's not the case here; only 16 of the 159 cuts are previously unreleased (with 13 of them being alternates tacked onto the end of the set). This set may be skimpy on unreleased music, but most of Buck's recordings have been in circulation on CD, as Owens licensed his LPs to Sundazed for reissue (making him one of the few major country artists to have almost all his proper LPs appear on CD) and his pre-Capitol recordings were nearly all rounded up on Audium's 2001 set, Young Buck. So, the value of Act Naturally -- as it is with almost any Bear Family set -- is context, provided both by Rich Kienzle's excellent hardcover biography and the presentation of the music itself as the set systematically marches from his early recordings for Pep to his big hits for Capitol. What's startling about this is that those early singles do reveal Buck's roots so clearly, whether it's the debt "The House Down the Block" has to Hank Williams or how "Down on the Corner of Love" has the unmistakable midtempo gait of Buck's later "Above and Beyond," or how the rockabilly of "Hot Dog" and "Rhythm and Booze" -- a single released under the name Corky Jones -- hinted at the twanging Telecasters of his prime work. All these elements were in place from the start, but it took Buck a while to get there and Act Naturally follows every one of his footsteps, from his time backing Bud Hobbs on his MGM sessions to the first flowering of his signature sound on "Under Your Spell Again" in 1960 through Don Rich's switch from fiddle to electric guitar roughly a few months later. As the '60s rolled on, Owens didn't expand his Bakersfield sound so much as hone it, sanding off the edges and turning it into something cleanly efficient yet surprisingly versatile. Whether he was singing heartbreak ballads like "Crying Time" and skipping through neo-novelties like "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail" or singing tunes by Harlan Howard and Tommy Collins -- or turning in renditions of Red Simpson's "Close Up the Honky Tonks" and Terry Fell's "Truck Driving Man" that provided the blueprint for decades of country-rock to come -- he always sounded unmistakably like himself. He had a sound like no other and, with his expert ear, he built a songbook -- partially originals, partially expertly chosen covers -- that defined what modern country music was all about in the last 40 years of the 20th century. His impact is of course well known, but nowhere is it easier to appreciate than it is on this marvelous set.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/2008
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051685027
  • Catalog Number: 16850

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Down on the Corner of Love (2:20)
  2. 2 It Don't Show on Me (2:14)
  3. 3 The House Down the Block (2:46)
  4. 4 Right After the Dance (2:20)
  5. 5 Hot Dog (2:17)
  6. 6 Rhythm and Booze (2:14)
  7. 7 There Goes My Love (2:14)
  8. 8 Sweethearts in Heaven (2:18)
  9. 9 Honeysuckle (1:50)
  10. 10 Country Girl (Leavin' Dirty Tracks) (2:03)
  11. 11 You're Fer Me (1:30)
  12. 12 Blue Love (1:15)
  13. 13 Please Don't Take Her from Me (2:32)
  14. 14 Three Dimension Love (1:15)
  15. 15 Why Don't My Mommy Stay with My Daddy and Me? (1:55)
  16. 16 I'm Gonna Blow (1:35)
  17. 17 I Found You Out (2:42)
  18. 18 You're Just What the Doctor Ordered (2:15)
  19. 19 Rightfully Mine (2:45)
  20. 20 Goose Rock (2:49)
  21. 21 Louisiana Swing (2:23)
  22. 22 I'm Gonna Set You Free (2:34)
  23. 23 Mean, Mean, Mean (2:31)
  24. 24 Last Dance Tonight (2:44)
  25. 25 Down on the Corner of Love (1:38)
  26. 26 It Don't Show on Me (1:59)
  27. 27 The House Down the Block (2:10)
  28. 28 Right After the Dance (1:10)
  29. 29 Blue Love (2:59)
Disc 2
  1. 1 I Only Know That I Love You (2:04)
  2. 2 Sweet Thing (2:12)
  3. 3 I Know What It Means (2:08)
  4. 4 Come Back to Me (2:17)
  5. 5 Walk the Floors (2:25)
  6. 6 My Everlasting Love (2:17)
  7. 7 Second Fiddle (2:04)
  8. 8 I'll Take a Chance on Loving You (2:02)
  9. 9 Tired of Livin' (2:01)
  10. 10 Under Your Spell Again (2:41)
  11. 11 I'll Give My Heart to You (2:01)
  12. 12 I Gotta a Right to Know (2:33)
  13. 13 Above and Beyond (2:25)
  14. 14 Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache) (2:26)
  15. 15 Take Me Back Again (2:37)
  16. 16 'Til These Dreams Come True (2:27)
  17. 17 Think It Over (2:18)
  18. 18 Foolin' Around (2:39)
  19. 19 Nobody's Fool But Yours (2:15)
  20. 20 High as the Mountains (2:22)
  21. 21 Loose Talk (2:31)
  22. 22 Mental Cruelty (2:24)
  23. 23 I Don't Believe I'll Fall in Love Today (2:23)
  24. 24 Pick Me Up on Your Way Down (2:28)
  25. 25 Let's Agree to Disagree (2:24)
  26. 26 The Keeper of the Key (2:33)
  27. 27 Lyin' Again (2:17)
  28. 28 Heartaches for a Dime (2:27)
  29. 29 Heartaches by the Number (2:29)
  30. 30 The One You Slip Around With (2:30)
  31. 31 The Key's in the Mailbox (2:26)
  32. 32 I'll Catch You When You Fall (2:09)
  33. 33 Save the Last Dance for Me (2:57)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Under the Influence of Love (2:19)
  2. 2 Nobody's Fool But Yours (2:28)
  3. 3 Goin' Down to the River (2:48)
  4. 4 Bad Bad Dream (2:25)
  5. 5 Down on the Corner of Love (2:20)
  6. 6 The House Down the Block (2:26)
  7. 7 Fool Me Again (2:33)
  8. 8 You're for Me (2:14)
  9. 9 Blues for Life (2:17)
  10. 10 The King of Fools (2:49)
  11. 11 Bring It to Jesus (2:08)
  12. 12 All the Way with Jesus (2:04)
  13. 13 Mexican Polka (2:06)
  14. 14 Country Polka (2:13)
  15. 15 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (2:10)
  16. 16 Storm of Love (2:37)
  17. 17 One Way Love (2:26)
  18. 18 Kickin' Our Hearts Around (2:36)
  19. 19 Save the Last Dance for Me (2:28)
  20. 20 The King of Fools (2:34)
  21. 21 I Can't Stop (My Lovin' You) (2:46)
  22. 22 Act Naturally (2:20)
  23. 23 Over and Over Again (2:14)
  24. 24 My Heart Skips a Beat (2:11)
  25. 25 There's Gonna Come a Day (2:14)
  26. 26 Diggy Liggy Lo (2:15)
  27. 27 Orange Blossom Special (2:07)
  28. 28 Cotton Fields (2:12)
  29. 29 Touch Me (3:07)
  30. 30 Saw Mill (2:23)
  31. 31 Sweethearts in Heaven (2:55)
  32. 32 Sally Was a Good Old Girl (2:20)
  33. 33 Release Me (2:33)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Sweethearts in Heaven (2:50)
  2. 2 We're the Talk of the Town (2:06)
  3. 3 Back Street Affair (2:31)
  4. 4 No Fool Like an Old Fool (2:35)
  5. 5 Love's Gonna Live Here (2:01)
  6. 6 Getting Used to Loosing You (2:27)
  7. 7 Smooth Sailin' (2:12)
  8. 8 But I Do (2:25)
  9. 9 If You Ain't Lovin' You Ain't Livin' (2:02)
  10. 10 My Last Chance with You (2:27)
  11. 11 Down, Down, Down (2:00)
  12. 12 You Gotta Have a License (2:16)
  13. 13 High on a Hilltop (2:32)
  14. 14 It Tickles (2:14)
  15. 15 Watcha Gonna Do Now (2:25)
  16. 16 I Always Get a Souvenir (2:20)
  17. 17 There'll Be No Other (2:49)
  18. 18 No Love Have I (2:19)
  19. 19 Louisiana Man (2:48)
  20. 20 Abilene (2:47)
  21. 21 A Maiden's Prayer (2:32)
  22. 22 Bud's Bounce (1:46)
  23. 23 Ain't It Amazing Gracie? (1:57)
  24. 24 My Heart Skips a Beat (2:25)
  25. 25 Together Again (2:25)
  26. 26 Close Up the Honky Tonks (2:48)
  27. 27 Truck Drivin' Man (2:33)
  28. 28 I Don't Hear You (2:56)
  29. 29 Hello Trouble (1:50)
  30. 30 A-11 (2:10)
  31. 31 Act Naturally (2:28)
Disc 5
  1. 1 I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me) (2:10)
  2. 2 Don't Let Her Know (2:33)
  3. 3 Dang Me (2:00)
  4. 4 This Ol' Heart (2:06)
  5. 5 Understand Your Man (2:48)
  6. 6 You're Welcome Anytime (2:26)
  7. 7 Buck's Polka (1:54)
  8. 8 Playboy (1:55)
  9. 9 We're Gonna Let the Good Times Roll (2:15)
  10. 10 Cryin' Time (2:29)
  11. 11 I've Got a Tiger by the Tail (2:11)
  12. 12 Trouble and Me (1:53)
  13. 13 If You Fall out of Love with Me (2:14)
  14. 14 Fallin' for You (1:59)
  15. 15 The Band Keeps Playin' On (3:01)
  16. 16 Memphis (2:27)
  17. 17 Streets of Laredo (2:54)
  18. 18 Gonna Have Love (1:54)
  19. 19 Let the Sad Times Roll On (2:13)
  20. 20 Wham Bam (2:01)
  21. 21 Above and Beyond (2:25)
  22. 22 I Don't Believe I'll Fall in Love Today (2:24)
  23. 23 Lyin' Again (2:19)
  24. 24 Heartaches for a Dime (2:29)
  25. 25 Heartaches by the Number (2:30)
  26. 26 The One You Slip Around With (2:32)
  27. 27 The Key's in the Mailbox (2:28)
  28. 28 I'll Catch You When You Fall (2:10)
  29. 29 Bring It to Jesus (2:08)
  30. 30 All the Way with Jesus (2:04)
  31. 31 Save the Last Dance for Me (2:57)
  32. 32 The King of Fools (12:10)
  33. 33 All the Way with Jesus (2:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Buck Owens Primary Artist
Bill Woods Piano, Steel Guitar
Glenn Ayers Bass, Drums
Tom Brumley Steel Guitar
Reed Butler Percussion, Voices
Johnny Cuviello Drums
Ferlin Husky Bass
Cal Maddox Guitar
Rose Maddox Leader, Vocals
Ralph Mooney Steel Guitar
Roy Nichols Guitar, Electric Guitar
Jim Pierce Piano
Lewis Talley Rhythm Guitar
Mel Taylor Drums
Allen Williams Bass
Robert Morris Bass
Wayne Stone Drums
Billy Mize Steel Guitar
Fuzzy Owen Bass, Steel Guitar
Willie Cantu Drums
Jay McDonald Steel Guitar
Kenny Pierce Bass, Vocals
Ken Presley Drums
Jelly Sanders Bass, Fiddle, Guitar
Cliff Crofford Trumpet
Bud Hobbs Guitar, Leader, Vocals
Gene Moles Electric Guitar
Jackie Trent Piano
Lawrence Williams Piano
Donald "Dusty" Rhodes Steel Guitar
Marion Z. "Pee Wee" Adams Drums
Leonard Sipes Guitar
Ray Heath Drums
George French Jr. Piano
Roy Lee Bass
Alvis E. Owens Guitar, Electric Guitar, Leader, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Robert Allen Austin Bass
Doyle Floyd Hendricks Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Melvin Lee "Mel" King Drums
Donald Eugene Ulrich Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Roland Earl Weber Guitar, Vocals
Oscar Whittington Fiddle
Technical Credits
Lead Belly Composer
Doug Kershaw Composer
Willie Nelson Composer
Buck Owens Composer
Mel Tillis Composer
Dwight Yoakam Introduction
Chuck Berry Composer
Wanda Jackson Composer
Mort Shuman Composer
Freddie Hart Composer
Tommy Collins Composer
Bill Woods Composer
Hank Cochran Composer
Terry Fell Composer, Producer
Harlan Howard Composer
Dave Kirby Composer
John D. Loudermilk Composer
Ann Lucas Composer
Ken Nelson Producer
Bonnie Owens Composer
Doc Pomus Composer
Dusty Rhodes Composer
Don Rollins Composer
Ervin T. Rouse Composer
Ray Sanders Composer
Horace Whatley Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Rich Kienzle Biographical Notes
Jesse Kaye Producer
Fuzzy Owen Composer
Orville Couch Composer
Glen Garrison Composer
Bud Isaacs Composer
R.A. Andreas Illustrations
Richard Weize Reissue Producer, Tape Research
Dave Sax Illustrations
Jurgen Crasser Mastering
Holger Von Bargen Art Direction
W.S. Stevenson Composer
Eddie McDuff Composer
Beverly Stewart Composer
Wanda Collins Composer
Dixie Davis Composer
Rollie Weber Composer
Dub Williams Composer
Robert Yount Composer
Kenny B. Devine Composer
Wolfgang Taubenauer Artwork, Photo Restoration
Voni Morrison Composer
Erich H├╝lsenbeck Photo Scanning
Andreas Merck Photo Scanning
Buddy Mize Composer
Alvis E. Owens Producer, Author
LeeAnn Enns Photo Scanning
Christian Schweder Tape Comparison
Lance Guynes Composer
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Customer Reviews

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