Sunday, March 26, 2006

When Jesus Calls

Buck Owens was a great singer. He had this way of swooping, dipping, puffing out a syllable, adding a wiggle to a long vowel sound, arching the pitch and then dropping it right at the end of line. It always seemed to me that he was mimicking the slow swell of the pedal steel. And then there were those vocal harmonies – a mix of Nashville, Mexico and Dust Bowl.
Owens wasn’t a genius songwriter. People who complain about song lyrics being too stupid (a specious complaint) won’t appreciate Buck. But with his vocal instrument, the sweet harmonies and the righteous backing of the Buckaroos, Buck Owens’ simple lyrics worked just fine.
This is from "Dust On Mother’s Bible" (not to be confused with the Blue Sky Boys’ "Dust on the Bible"), which was Owens sole record of country gospel, re-issued a few years back in Sundazed.
Buck Owens and his Buckaroos - "When Jesus Calls All His Children In" (recorded in 1965).

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