Saturday, March 25, 2006

RIP Buck Owens



Jayson said...

Buck is a legend. He popularized a distinctive style with songs like "Together Again," "Hello Trouble," and the one sung at my wedding: "My Heart Skips a Beat." Like a lot of country stars, his later years were a caricatural shadow on his youth. Hee Haw was rural minstrelsy on a par with "O Brother Where Art Thou" (that my educated East Coast friends can't get that is exactly my point). His s-lo-w baby talk to his Japanese audience on his live Japan tour album is also regretable. But the guy was human, and he wrote some damned good little ditties. At least I think so. And my opinion matters. After all, you're reading me. Thanks for acknowledging Buck, STDPM. Chapeau bas!

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

It's unfortunate that Hee Haw gets so much emphasis in Buck's obits, but I don't think the show was all bad. The show featured some good musical performances, and (with the notable exception of hack George "Goober" Lindsay), some fairly decent comedians. Junior Samples was pretty funny, and so was Don Harron and Lulu Roman. I cut comedy a lot of slack (maybe more than I should, I dunno). Still, the overall tone was awfully schlocky, and I'd rather Buck Owens be remembered for his string of 15 or 20 number one hits than "Pickin' and Grinnin'," "The Gloom/Despair Song" and those stupid bib "overhauls."

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

On Hee Haw comedians, it might be worthwhile to check out the Wikipedia entry on the show and look at some of the cast member bios. Archie Campbell, for example, had a pretty interesting radio and local TV career before the show. I won't try to argue that the show wasn't insulting in a lot of ways, but on the other hand, I doubt I would have been exposed to any of that material in suburban Illinois otherwise.

Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss said...

I'm not a big fan of Gailard Sartain, but this note in his Wikipedia bio makes me all the more sad at the sorry (as in nonexistent) state of locally produced television today --

Sartain's entry into entertainment was launched with his creation and hosting of Tulsa's first late night off-the-wall comedy program "Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi's Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting". The program was broadcast on KOTV and later, KTUL, both in Tulsa. Guest stars included Gary Busey and Jim Millaway.

Sartain as Dr. Mazeppa Pompazoidi hosted a late night weekend film festival of old movies, dressed as a wizard, wearing a dark blue robe and pointed wizard's cap. The local late-night program featured B-movies, with Sartain and Busey writing and performing skits between the movie segments. Featuring characters such as Yahooudi Men-you-in (a nameplay on the famous violinist, played by Sartain), Coach Chuck, the Reverend Doctor Menlo Park (always seeking "witnesses to my ministry" and Lecil Bevis (of Jerry Ralph R.B. "Bob" Bevis' "Furniture Warehouse Liquidators Showroom Revolution (all Sartain)). Also featured was a pre-Hollywood Gary Busey character, Teddy Jack Eddie.....with the third member of the troupe, Millaway, playing "Sherman Oaks",wearing a receding-hairlined half-mask.