In a few short years after these sides were put to tape, Buck Owens would be hailed as the architect of the Bakersfield sound, notching memorable hits for Capitol including “Tiger by the Tail” and “Act Naturally.” He was, really, still gathering his tools, and picking out building materials. Yet, already, you can spot the foundational element of his looming legend — the honky-tonk howl, the twangy Telecaster wail, the rambling railyard rhythms. This new 24-song collection, to be issued on Sept. 27 by RockBeat Records, is comprised of Owens’ first-known session for Pep Records — put to tape when Owens was still in his early 20s — along with a series of singles for Chesterfield Records and an album issued by La Brea Records from three years later. Highlights include the fun rockabilly novelty “Hot Dog,” the George Jones-ish called “Country Girl (Leavin’ Tracks),” the clickety-clackety “Yer Fer Me,” and the Webb Pierce-inspired “Why Didn’t My Mommy Stay With My Daddy and Me?” — a nifty quartet of songs that showcase the breadth of Owens’ emerging talents.
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