Owens had made smart investments in real estate, music publishing and management, a recording studio and television station -- as well as a pair of radio stations, one in his adopted home. Problem was, listeners were calling and asking those stations to "play less Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr. and other artists like that," Owens recalled with glee during his 1989 stop here. Apparently those listeners had no idea who owned the stations.
So, Owens asked, "Do I play raucous honky-tonk music, raw with that edge and gusto, or do I take the edge off, soften up the songs, change the instrumentation and be something that I ain't?"
For the man whose first No. 1 had been the insistent "Act Naturally," to be something he "ain't" was never an option. "We ought to get those people rockin' chairs, put 'em out back with some old Eddy Arnold records and say, 'Here you are, baby, now turn my radio station off. Don't be listening to me. I don't want to play for you.' "