The Story Of The 1970s Buck Owens American Guitar by Harmony

April 17, 2020

My first memory of seeing a guitar in person was seeing a Buck Owens “American” guitar leaning against a couch at a neighbor’s house while visiting my grandmother in the mid-1970s. Soon after seeing it, I understood its significance by seeing Buck play an identical one on the Hee Haw television show. Later, via the influence of Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, and the Desert Rose Band in the 1980s, I would dig back and start listening to all of the great albums that Owens made through the 50s and 60s that in turn influenced my heroes. Through the years, I kept looking for one, but one was never up for sale nearby, as I really wanted to see what this Harmony-made mail-order guitar was like. It wasn’t until recently that I was able to test out and acquire one of these red, white, and blue beauties from one of the fine chaps at Glaser Instruments, and I was able to finally join the “Buck Club.” This of course threw me down the rabbit hole of finding out everything that I could online from sites like SilvertoneWorld.Net and even calling up Buckaroo Jim Shaw, who continues to run Buck’s Crystal Palace club in Bakersfield, CA to get the full low-down on the story behind it. And though Owens is certainly the star here, I have to give Pat Smear of Nirvana, and the great Ryan Adams credit for their role in raising the “cool” factor on these crazy 70s creations. To close the episode, I share the story that Jim Shaw shared with me that they sold hundreds of warehoused versions of the Buck models to cover their expenses during the pandemic. It was hard for me not to see this as Owens working things out from beyond the grave.

Special thanks to Buckaroo Jim Shaw, and Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.

Also for the wonderful information gathered from Silvertone World. #buckowens #buckowensamerican