The public agreed, for the #1 songs, most in the "freight train" style, piled up. In 1964 came "I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)." In 1965, "I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail," "Before You Go," "Only You (Can Break My Heart)," and the instrumental "Buckaroo." In 1966, the more laid back "Waitin’ In Your Welfare Line," "Think Of Me," and "Open Up Your Heart." In 1967, "Sam’s Place" and "Your Tender Loving Care."

Blue Book Music by them was a major country song publisher due to the songs of Buck and Merle Haggard, a major star in his own right. Buck also formed Buck Owens Enterprises, managed by his younger sister Dorothy. In 1965 Buck and McFadden founded OMAC Artists Corporation, a booking agency. In March 1966, Buck put his radio experience to work when he bought KUZZ-AM in Bakersfield. He also started a new station there, KBBY-FM. KBBY later became KKXX-FM, which was #1 rock ‘n’ roll station in Bakersfield for 10 years. KUZZ was - and remains – the #1 country station. Buck soon extended his radio holdings. In 1967 he bought KTUF-AM and in 1968 KNIX-FM, both in Phoenix. Eventually most operations were consolidated under the umbrella of Buck Owens Productions.

By 1966, Buck, Merle, Tommy Collins, and Wynn Stewart, each on Capitol but each with his own style, collectively defined what was then referred to as the "Bakersfield Sound": a sharp, Telecaster-driven honky-tonk sound. As hardcore singers like Ray Price were heading in the countrypolitan direction, the no-frills, unadorned drive of the Bakersfield Sound, lacking any gimmickry, remained a reassuring beacon for hard country fans.

Alvis and Maicie Owens’ one-time concerns about their son’s love for playing honky-tonks were long gone. "The last 16 years of my daddy’s life, he got to work for me, and that made him his own boss and he like that," Buck says. "And my mother told me on several different occasions that she was livin’ her dream vicariously through me. She once said that I was getting’ to do all the things that she would have wanted to have done."

Unlike many country stars, Buck and Don Rick were enthusiastic fans of The Beatles’ early music, even before the group covered "Act Naturally." The pair had every Beatles album, and onstage did a good-natured imitation of the Liverpool quartet. Buck’s professed Beatlemania bothered some fans: "People would say ‘You shouldn’t be sayin’ that. You should be talkin’ about country music.’ And I said, ‘Why not? It’s the truth! Why can’t I say I’m a Beatles fan?’ I used to get criticized for that." Ken Nelson recalls that The Beatles admired Buck as well: "We used to have to send Buck’s albums to The Beatles when they came out."


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