Buck Owens' official autobiography has been brought to life using audio tapes left behind by the late country superstar. The singer, who died in 2006, spent several years working on an outline for a book of his life story, recording his notes on tapes between 1995 and 2000, but the project never came to fruition.
The tapes were eventually handed to author Randy Poe by the late star's former Buckaroos bandmate Jim Shaw, and he was able to create the autobiography the singer was never able to write, titled Buck 'Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens.
Poe tells Billboard.com, "I had went up to Bakersfield (in California) to meet with some members of Buck's family about the possibility of writing Buck's authorised biography. After meeting with them, Jim Shaw, who to this day is one of the Buckaroos - and runs some of Buck's businesses in Bakersfield - took me into Buck's old office and there was this desk with a stack of tapes. He says 'This might be helpful to you... I didn't have to think about it very long or very hard till I came back to Jim and the family and I said 'Let's scratch this authorised biography business, and do what Buck wanted. Let's create his autobiography from these cassettes that he left us'."
However, Poe admits the process became a little frustrating as he couldn't ask his subject any questions. He adds, "The most frustrating thing was the inability to be able to say things like 'Why did you marry the fourth one (wife)? What was the thought process? When he would interrupt himself on a tape, I could say 'Wait a minute, you were telling a really good story. Go back and finish it.' I would love to have been able to do that... It was the most complicated jigsaw puzzle anyone has ever put together, but I was able to piece it together through all the different sources."
Country icon Merle Haggard can add doctor to his resume after receiving an honorary degree on Friday (14Jun13). The Hungry Eyes hitmaker, 76, was made a doctor of fine arts by officials from California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) in recognition of his significant contributions to the Bakersfield Sound, a genre of country music which was developed in the area in the late 1950s.
The late Buck Owens, another Bakersfield Sound pioneer, was also feted by CSUB bosses with the President's Medal.