Songs of Buck and Merle

Beth Berkelhammer

Music Three 1:00-2:00

Beth BerkelhammerFor singers, pickers, fans, and the curious, this will be more of a song-swap than a jam, with a special mini-performance in the middle. Come ready to sing and play a favorite from the Buck Owens & the Buckaroos or Merle Haggard songbooks, or come just to listen. Joining us and providing musical support will be Johnny Harper—singer, songwriter, guitarist extraordinaire, and all-around American roots music maven. We’ll ask him to say a few words about the Bakersfield sound and—a real treat—to sing and play for us a few of his favorites.

Haggard, by his own estimation, wrote some 1,600 songs and considered three or four hundred of them “keepers”—a very deep well to draw from. Owens churned out hit after hit (on his own or as co-writer, often with Harlan Howard): “Foolin’ Around,” “Together Again,” “Cryin’ Time,” “Before You Go,” “Above and Beyond,” “Under Your Spell Again,” “Tiger By the Tail,” “Where Does the Good Times Go”—and on and on. We’ll do what we can in 60 minutes! So put on some Oildale outlaw attitude or dig out those pastel sparkle outfits, and get ready to channel your inner Buck, Buckette, or Merle.

Beth Berkelhammer, who hails from suburban New Jersey, has long been under the magical spell of the Buck Owens-Don Rich sound.