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March 25

Why today? It’s the fourth anniversary of Buck Owens’ death – an event that came 47 years and two days after the release of “Second Fiddle,” his first charted single.

About the record: Capitol F4172, recorded Oct. 9, 1958, at the Capitol Tower studio in Hollywood. Released March 23, 1959; reached No. 24 on Billboard’s country chart. Also appeared on the album Buck Owens, Capitol T 1489, released Jan. 30, 1961.

As the liner notes to the reissue of that eponymous 1961 album attest, “[t]he sound that became the legend starts right here.” This was a few years before the classic Buckaroos lineup of Don Rich, Tom Brumley, Doyle Holly and Willie Cantu was assembled; the pickers you hear include the great Ralph Mooney on steel and Jelly Sanders on fiddle. Gotta love that shuffle, too. It may be forever associated with Ray Price, but Buck’s early Capitol sides did that familiar beat proud.

I’ve always liked the line “Like an early morning paper / the news you get just part.” These days, I have to say, it’s never been more true.

About the artist: Check out this and that previous 3 Chords a Day posts on Buck Owens and follow the links.

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