Dwight Yoakam was obviously greatly influenced by the late, great Buck Owens. The Hee Haw co-host and music legend passed away on March 25, 2006 (still in the saddle since he passed away in his sleep of an apparent heart attack after performing in a nightclub).
During the ‘80s, Owens career had slowed down and he was no longer recording (he left Hee Haw in 1986 to refocus on recording). However, in 1988 he did a duet with young buck Dwight Yoakam called “Streets of Bakersfield” and it became the first time that he hit number one since the ‘70s.
The kudos would continue into the ‘90s as Owens was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996. It’s no surprise that Yoakam would give himself a birthday present (the album was released on October 23, Yoakam’s birthday) and do cover versions of some of Owens’ hits.
“Act Naturally” was one of Owens’ biggest hits and it’s no surprise that Yoakam covers it. The liner notes also include many pictures of Owens and Yoakam together. Not only that but the back has a pic of Owens that makes him look rather James Dean-ish instead of the comedic image that we might take away from Hee Haw.
It’s a fine album for fans of both men and it’s always good to see the current crop of country musicians paying tribute to what has come before.