While watching the Ken Burns documentary about Country Music a while back, I was very interested in the segment they did about Buck Owens because it brought back a lot of memories.
Back in the ’60s, I used to play in a band from Winnipeg called The Jury who, because we had a few records released, got to play all over Manitoba and the northern States.
Sometimes, getting back home from some of these gigs required driving all night, and I guess because it was my car, I was the designated driver. Unfortunately, back then, the only music you could get on the radio was Country, which was not my favorite, but I did kind of like Buck Owens because he rocked a little.
Anyway, fast forward about twenty years and I’m now living in California as a radio consultant and as I drove home from my office in La Jolla, for a change of pace, I dialed up KSON.
I had no idea that as the hills of La Jolla faded from my rearview mirror, I’d soon end up on the streets of Bakersfield.
Driving south on I 5, all of a sudden on came Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars and Cadillacs,” so I cranked it up and sang along. I love all of Dwight’s music because he reminds me of Buck Owens, which in turn reminds me of my old band days.
Anyway, just as the tune begins to fade, the jock jumps in and says, “Hey, I bet Dwight will be singing that one when he takes the stage in a few minutes at the Convention Center.” At that moment, my headlights hit the exit sign for the Convention Center, and even though I had an early flight in the morning, I thought, “What the hell.”
Once inside, unfortunately, I discovered that the opening act wasn’t that good, so I decided to leave. Fortunately, as I was walking out, I noticed a bar out back so I decided to have a couple of CC’s and Coke so that the whole night wouldn’t end up being a waste.
All of a sudden as I stood there sipping my adult beverage all of a sudden, on came Dwight. Talk about electricity, when he hit the stage, he was just rockin’, and the ladies were howlin’.
He had his cowboy hat pulled way down as he strutted and pranced all over the stage in his ripped skin-tight jeans with cool silver medallions down the sides, he soon had the ladies all heated up and I was having a ball and I was so glad that I hadn’t left.
The next day I was headed to WLAC in Nashville, and as I was changing planes in Dallas, I thought that I recognized RC Bradly up at the ticket counter. RC had been the Sales Manager of KZBS in Oklahoma City back when Bill Lacey owned it, and I was their consultant. Taking a chance, I called out his name, and sure enough, when he looked up, it was him, and with a big smile on his face, he came over to say hi.
When I asked him what he was doing now, he shockingly said that he managed a hillbilly singer named Dwight Yoakam. However, when I told him that I’d seen Dwight in San Diego last night, he just laughed. Then he said, “Let me see, do I have this right, are you saying that George Johns, one of America’s most respected Adult Contemporary consultants, spends his downtime going to cowboy concerts?”
After telling RC that my connection to Dwight came from my old band days because he reminded me of Buck Owens, RC asked if I would like to meet Dwight? When I told him that I would love to, off, he went and was back a few minutes later with two guys who were wearing these very cool long trail coats made out of Indian blankets.
After introducing Dwight to me, RC then said, “And this George is the legendary Buck Owens.” You’re sh*ting me, how f#king cool is that?
It turned out that they were going to Nashville to tape a TV Special, which was honoring the legends of Country Music, so I also got to meet a bunch them too, but that’s another story for another time.
Luckily when they called our flight for Nashville, I’d used my reward miles to upgrade so I got to sit upfront with them.
Once we were in the air and enjoying a couple of cocktails, all of a sudden, Dwight and Buck got their guitars down from the overhead.
For the next hour, we were entertained by hearing Buck teach Dwight the song they were going to do together on the TV special. The thing was though, none of us, including them, had any idea that we were witnessing the birth of Dwight Yoakam’s first #1 record, “The Streets Of Bakersfield.”
(To see them do it live, click on the link at the bottom of the page.)
You know you’re getting old when you no longer can handle doing the indoor sunglasses thing.
True happiness is when you find yourself laughing with a small child about nothing.
The Feds are thinking about adding on a 25 cent a gallon tax to gasoline nationwide. How’s that going to work in California where the State government is already running that scam? I want the gun concession; they may be ready. Isn’t that what the second amendment is all about?
Speaking of guns, if the slaves had guns, would there have been any slaves in America?
No Blacks are moving to Africa, no Jews are moving to Israel, and I’m sure as hell not moving to Britain, so why don’t we work it all out?
The only difference between the NFL owners and other owners is … The NFL pays a hell of a lot more.
Doing what you were born to do is easy; the tough part is figuring out exactly what that is.
The only good thing about time flying by so fast is you’re the pilot.
I don’t think people who live in mansions should be the ones telling the rest of us how we should live.
Speaking of rich people, why don’t politicians use some of that lobbyist payola to do some good?
Speaking of payola, how can we expect the politicians who accept money from the companies who are hurting the planet, to work on climate change?
If you think it’s tough trying to get people to give up their guns, wait until you attempt talking kids into giving up their video games with guns.
Howcome the list of what my homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover is at least twice as long as what it does cover?
Isn’t it weird how the best are also usually the worst?
Life being unfair doesn’t give you the right to do wrong.
I think my friends back home should bang on Baby Trudeau about Canada’s shrinking dollar. It’s worth 70 cents at the moment.
So here we are hunkered down from an enemy we can’t even see but at least I’m sequestered with a beautiful 24-year-old so I should be happy right? Oh, did I neglect to mention that it’s my daughter?
Tim Byrd: George, Good stuff, we understand that it is the middle class that makes the country work, but when the plan on their (currents in office) part is to “fundamentally change America” to a socialist gulag, there becomes a derailed train running at high speeds that no one has the fortitude to stop. It is after all, as you said a Republic, Politicians are not known to have balls in their sack or a bone up their back. And so it goes…..Thanks for all the George(isms) (It’s The Middle-Class Stupid)
Robin Solis: That Paul McCartney bit had it all, didn’t it? And it just fell perfectly into place as the karaoke in the car is a regular segment. Although not a fan of the show itself, I did watch the Stevie Wonder segment when it came out. It was me, and I love Stevie. But I guess when it’s Sir Paul, there’s just that Beatles Magic that happens. I’m still swooning. (Radio Royalty)
Geo: Robin, my favorite quote from Sir Paul, is, “I am more amazed by the Beatles now than I ever was when I was one.
Ron Paley: Geo: I am truly honoured to be mentioned in your blog, and finally, after many many years, we find out how close we were to each other in the CKY Winnipeg days yet, so far apart. It wasn’t until we got together in West Palm for brunch in 2010 that we met again for the first time since the early ’60s. Your achievements in radio are to be admired, and thanks again for the posts on Facebook and mentions in your blog.
Somewhere around here, I have the CFTR Last Contest promos Jack McCoy cut for us as well four reels of music beds he sent along. I can never hear Rod Serling without thinking Last Contest.
Considering there was only one Mono production studio (no multi-track) to handle the station’s regular traffic and all those prize packs (each prize pack aired only once)…it was really something. Plus, if you recall that studio had hot water heating and often sometimes in the middle of a take, the pipes would Clank & we’d have to start all over again. (The Last Contest)
Congrats on today’s read… I love it when your politically incorrect side comes out… as the song goes “Don’t go changin'” (Designated Survivor)
Eric Edwards: Said it then, and I’ll say it now, “the wrath of the buzzard” was the best station id ever produced… I had the good fortune to work with Chuck many times in Los Angeles; he was an amazing talent (Chuck Riley)