Bound For Bakersfield: The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection, 1953-1956
[Rock Beat (2011)]
Honky-tonk pioneer Buck Owens (1926-2006) (born: Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr.) had yet to find his unique musical identity when he recorded his first demo tapes and singles as a solo artist. Having honed his skills as guitarist/lead singer of the Orange Blossom Playboys, a popular country dance band led by Bill Woods (a former member of ex-Bob Wills singer Tommy Duncan’s backup band), Owens’ Bakersfield style was heavily influenced by Wills and Hank Williams. Backed by then-fellow members of the Orange Blossom Playboys on the earliest tracks and after 155 by his own group, the Schoolhouse Playboys, Owens points to things to come with his great Telecaster guitar picking and superb songwriting.
Though none of the early recordings on Bound For Bakersfield: The Complete Pre-Capitol Collection, 1953-1956 yielded hits for Owens, they later furnished material for Reno & Smiley (“Sweethearts In Heaven”) and Red Sovine, James O’Gwynn, and a very-young Bobby Bare (“Down On The Corner Of Love”). The real jewels of this collection, are a pair of Elvis Presley-inspired rockabilly tunes, ”Hot Dog” and “Rhythm And Blooze,” that were released under Owens’ pseudonym, Corky Jones. Though he never recorded anything as rocking, the blending of its spirit with his country roots enabled Owens to become one the most influential voices of the late-twentieth century. This is where it all began.
—Craig Harris (Chicopee, MA)