Monday, August 12, 2013
Buck Owens and his Starday LPs
Happy Birthday Buck Owens and cheers to one of the worst album Starday covers of all-time! Sometime between 1959 and 1960, Don Pierce purchased the international rights to Buck's catalog for only $500, as well as the rights to the Pep masters. It turned out to be a pretty wise investment and years later, when Buck tried to get the rights back, Don just handed them over for free. Don later told me that he figured he had already made enough money off of them after Ray Charles and the Beatles had had some hits for him, and he was more interested in keeping a friendly relationship with Buck. After this LP came out (SLP 172), Buck asked his mother to send Don a better photo for future LP issues.
And even though only half or so of the songs on those future LPs (SLP 324, with two different covers, and SLP 446) were by Buck (the other were soundalikes by Tommy Hill, Eddie Wilson, and others at done at the Starday Sound Studio), he still came by the Starday Studios and picked up handfuls at a time to sell at his concerts. Apparently Capitol wouldn't supply Buck with his own LPs to sell at his shows, whereas Starday sold Buck (or any recording artist) Starday LPs for only a buck a piece. I guess it is for this reason that it is far more common to find an autographed Buck Owens Starday LP by the whole band than it is to find a Capitol LP signed by the band. I always thought it was somewhat odd that Buck was selling LPs at his shows with other people covering his hits, but I guess it makes sense... A buck is a buck. Cheers to all of you who kept your signed Buck Owens Starday LPs. And Happy Birthday to a legend!