1965 Buck Owens – I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail
At about age four, Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. renamed himself after a donkey on his family’s farm, becoming Buck Owens. He taught himself to play several instruments and began performing on radio and in clubs in the forties. He and his wife moved to Bakersfield, California, in the late forties.
Buck began releasing singles in 1956 and met and began collaborating with Don Rich in 1958. He finally made it only the Country charts in 1959 when his single Second Fiddle reached #24.
Buck had a string of top forty singles on the Country chart in the early sixties, including five that reached #2. His first chart-topping single came in 1963 from his recording of Act Naturally. It was the first of fourteen consecutive number one singles for Buck.
The Beatles covered the song in 1965 with Ringo on lead vocals, but the record peaked at only #47 on the Hot 100 (the other side of the single was Yesterday, which topped the chart).
Buck often recorded songs written or co-written with Harlan Howard. They were working on new songs in 1964 with little success when Buck spotted a sign at an Esso gas station: “Put a tiger in your tank.” That led to an idea for a song that turned into the single I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail.
The single not only topped the Country chart, it reached #25 on the Hot 100 in 1965. It was the only time Buck had a song reach the top forty on the Hot 100, although he had three more singles reach 57, 60, and 74 in the next two years.
His regular appearances hosting Hee Haw no doubt helped his record sales. He continued hitting the Country charts into the eighties and even had a #1 hit in 1988 with a duet with Dwight Yoakam (Streets of Bakersfield).
In 1989, Buck and Ringo teamed up and recorded a new version of Act Naturally. They even shot a video for the single.
The record peaked at only #27 on the Country chart, and proved to be Buck’s last top forty single.
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