Buck Owens by Eileen Sisk
The Biography

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Retracing the life of Buck Owens—from his poverty-stricken youth as the son of a sharecropper to one of the nation’s best-loved and wealthiest entertainers—this biography pays tribute to the man and his music by revealing his genius, his warmth, his humor, his vulnerabilities, and his flaws. It is based on personal sources, including original and latter-day Buckaroos, the cohost and the producer of Hee Haw, the former president of Capitol Nashville, and numerous country singers, relatives, ex-wives, ex-lovers, and ex-employees. The result is a 360-degree profile of a shrewd businessman—the polar opposite of the aw-shucks image he cultivated on Hee Haw. Owens was the top-selling country act of the 1960s—with 21 number-one hits and 35 consecutive top-10 hits from 1962 to 1972, a total surpassed only by the Beatles. One of his major contributions to this era was his invention of the Bakersfield sound, mixing electric guitars with a rock 'n' roll beat, which became popular with country and rock fans alike. This biography details the rift Buck had with the Nashville establishment, his reasons for never becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry, the number of times Buck married, the truth about Buck posing in the nude for Playgirl, and his strained but professional relationship with Hee Haw cohost Roy Clark.


About Eileen Sisk

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Eileen Sisk is a former editor at the Tennessean, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the Washington Post and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. and the Society of Professional Journalists. She is the author of Honky-Tonks: Guide to Country Dancin' and Romancin'.
Published June 24, 2010 by Chicago Review Press. 420 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Although Owens always played up his country-gentleman public image, former Tennessean and Washington Post editor Sisk (Honky-Tonks: Guide to Country Dancin’ and Romancin’, 1995) exposes him as a cutthroat businessman, a dishonest and abusive bandleader and a wife-beating womanizer, among other th...

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Publishers Weekly

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Sisk (Honky-Tonks: Guide to Country Dancin' and Romancin') opens with a warm dedication and a note of thanks to the late country star Buck Owens.

May 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Buck Owens: The Biography

BC Books

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But Owens, for all his fame and fortune, is remembered for his music, not his business acumen, his sexual conquests, or his often-abrasive nature.

Aug 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Buck Owens: The Biography

BC Books

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But Sisk doesn’t seem to have spent much time fishing for compliments, and Owens’ considerable musical influence and the positive support he provided to many musicians are here relegated to a brief epilogue – as though any good qualities he may have had are mere afterthought.

Aug 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Buck Owens: The Biography

Seattle PI

instead, Sisk quotes colleagues, associates, and acquaintances – including a number of love interests – to paint an unrelentingly unflattering portrait.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Buck Owens: The Biography

News Review.

While Buck Owens didn’t invent the “Bakersfield sound,” the Texas-born guitar-picker took the twang of California’s Central Valley out into the country-music repertoire.

Sep 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Buck Owens: The Biography

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