Friday, July 10, 2009

Buck Owens Outfits

A couple people have commented on the bright suits worn by the performers in the videos I posted the other day. From what I can tell, those crazy outfits were pretty common among those performers who created what's now known as the Bakersfield sound. Many people in Bakersfield settled there after leaving Oklahoma during the dust bowl, and they brought some musical traditions with them. I read that the Maddox Brothers and Rose were the first of the groups to start wearing those high-colour decorative outfits.

The music happening in Bakersfield was quite a bit different than the highly orchestrated super-slick music out of Nashville. It was honky-tonk music played with twangy electric guitars and a back-beat. Buck Owens, became one of the most popular players of this music, bringing it to national prominence in the 60s along with other performers like Merle Haggard. I bet it would have been a lot of fun to see some of those Bakersfield Country and Western bands playing in their prime.


Candy Minx said...

Ah yes, the highly collectable Nudie suit. These were the ultimate Rock and Roll and Country and Western clothes. Manuel Cuevoas and Nudie Cohn likely made the clothes you like...and if they didn't actually make them, they are the source. But I'd bet they were from these two Rock and Roll designers. They made Elvis's gold lame suit...and reflected the important relationship between performers of Country and performers of Rock and Roll and the rooots in common in popular culture. Boy...these clothes are really collectable, especially by contemporary rockers.

Stagg said...

Nutin' lyke sum flash in yer 'twang!

mister anchovy said...

Buck Owens said, "But most distinctly, I remember always saying to myself that when I get big, I'm not going to go to bed hungry, I'm not going to wear hand-me-down clothes."

He also said, "I'm from the Bob Wills and the Little Richard school of music. Bob Wills did what the hell he thought, Little Richard did what he thought, and those were my big influences."

Candy Minx said...

Owens pledges totally tie in with the kind of narrative of the fashion designers Turk, Cohn and Cuervos...all immigrants. It's kind of the classic American Dream story...of being poor, moving and pledging to be poor again. The ultimate migrating story: move to find abundance. Owens family going west for depression...Cuervoa leaving Mexico, Turk was Polish immigrant and Cohn was Ukrainian I think. And makes sense Owens would find an inspiring story arc with Little Richard and his attitude. Little Richard was also from poverty. It's like fighting all levels of oppression gives girth to independent spirit.

At least for the immigrant story and trying to leave poverty behind. Owens lived a long time and he must have known the ironic thing is...his clothes are totally recycled and people want to wear the originals...despite them being "hand me downs". It's kind of funny!

mister anchovy said...

Interesting comment. The spirit of the music is rebel music as well. The piercing combo of telecaster and pedal steel, high twang, was in stark contrast to the trend in the 60s toward orchestration in "Nashville" country music.