The public agreed, for the #1 songs, most in the "freight
train" style, piled up. In 1964 came "I Dont
Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)." In 1965, "Ive
Got A Tiger By The Tail," "Before You Go," "Only
You (Can Break My Heart)," and the instrumental "Buckaroo."
In 1966, the more laid back "Waitin In Your Welfare Line,"
"Think Of Me," and "Open Up Your Heart." In
1967, "Sams Place" and "Your Tender Loving
Blue Book Music by them was a major country song publisher due
to the songs of Buck and Merle Haggard, a major star in his
own right. Buck also formed Buck Owens Enterprises, managed by his
younger sister Dorothy. In 1965 Buck and McFadden founded OMAC Artists
Corporation, a booking agency. In March 1966, Buck put his radio
experience to work when he bought KUZZ-AM in Bakersfield. He also
started a new station there, KBBY-FM. KBBY later became KKXX-FM,
which was #1 rock n roll station in Bakersfield for
10 years. KUZZ was - and remains the #1 country station.
Buck soon extended his radio holdings. In 1967 he bought KTUF-AM
and in 1968 KNIX-FM, both in Phoenix. Eventually most operations
were consolidated under the umbrella of Buck Owens Productions.
By 1966, Buck, Merle, Tommy Collins, and Wynn Stewart, each
on Capitol but each with his own style, collectively defined what
was then referred to as the "Bakersfield Sound": a sharp,
Telecaster-driven honky-tonk sound. As hardcore singers like Ray
Price were heading in the countrypolitan direction, the no-frills,
unadorned drive of the Bakersfield Sound, lacking any gimmickry,
remained a reassuring beacon for hard country fans.
Alvis and Maicie Owens one-time concerns about their sons
love for playing honky-tonks were long gone. "The last
16 years of my daddys life, he got to work for me, and that
made him his own boss and he like that," Buck says. "And
my mother told me on several different occasions that she was livin
her dream vicariously through me. She once said that I was getting
to do all the things that she would have wanted to have done."
Unlike many country stars, Buck and Don Rick were enthusiastic
fans of The Beatles early music, even before the group
covered "Act Naturally." The pair had every Beatles album,
and onstage did a good-natured imitation of the Liverpool quartet.
Bucks professed Beatlemania bothered some fans: "People
would say You shouldnt be sayin that. You should
be talkin about country music. And I said, Why
not? Its the truth! Why cant I say Im a Beatles
fan? I used to get criticized for that." Ken Nelson recalls
that The Beatles admired Buck as well: "We used to have to
send Bucks albums to The Beatles when they came out."