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interview :: doyle.holly

Here's an exclusive interview Doyle Holly gave us on November 25, 2002. For more information on Mr. Holly, check out his website at DoyleHolly.com.

Q: How many years have you been performing/playing?

A: I was in the music business for about 35 years.I still do about 4 or 5 dates a year.

Q: During what years did you perform with Buck?

A: From August 3, 1963 through September 1970, with 9 months absent. During that time I played in Seattle, Washington and at the Palomino club in Hollywood,California.

Q: On which Buck albums, if any, did you perform and/or tour?

A: All of them during the 60's except Made in Japan and maybe one more.

Q: Which instrument(s) did you play? (Please note any differences between recording and touring.)

A: I played bass and rhythm guitar in the studio and on stage. Then, in 1969, we hired Doyle Singer (Curtsinger) and I went on electric rhythm on stage.

Q: Do you play any other instruments, and if so, what? What is your favorite instrument to play?

A: I play bass and guitar. I like playing both.

Q: Describe how you came to be a Buckaroo? (What lead to the audition, what was the audition like, and anything else you'd like to share.)

A: When Buck or any member of the Band met or knew a musician we would get his phone number just incase we ever needed him. For example, Don Rich recommended me, I recommended Wayne Wilson, Don and I found Willie Cantu. When Willie left Don recommended Jerry Wiggins. I played around Bakersfield and knew Don and Kenny Presley (the first drummer). Kenny Pierce (the bass player before me got in a beef with other members of the group over a gambling debt and quit half way [through a trip] to L.A. for a photo session for On The Band Stand. Don Rich called me.

There was no audition, [and] there were hardly ever any rehearsals. That was the most unique band I ever worked with. We all could just about read each others mind.

Q: Before becoming a Buckaroo, were you a fan of Buck Owens? Did you own any Buck Owens albums?

A: Yes. I had two albums, and I sang Buck Owens songs from the start of my music career.

Q: What bands did you perform with prior to becoming a Buckaroo?

A: I played bass for Jimmy Wakley, worked at the Blackboard club for Bill Woods, and when I went to work for Buck, I was working for Joe and Rosalee Maphis.

Q: What bands have your performed with since you left the Buckaroos?

A: I left Bakersfield and formed my own band. I had the band till 1987, working with Johnny Russell and doing solo dates. I also had 2 top ten singles Queen of the Silver Dollar and Lila, plus two Top Twenty Albums (both of which are on the Barnaby label).

Q: Who were/are your musical influences?

A: Bob Wills, Tommy Duncan, Ernest Tubb along with the Texas Playboys, the best band ever....

Q: Describe typical day in your life now. What are you doing, etc.? Feel free to elaborate and share as much as you'd like.

A: I drive a customized entertainers bus, most recently for Shania Twian. I still work a few dates. I just recorded a C.D. of all Buck Owens Songs with a bluegrass feel. Five string banjo, dobro, etc. Also on the session was Tom Brumley and Willie Cantu.

Q: What is your most memorable experience as a Buckaroo?

A: The whole seven and a half years was an experience, but the Carnagie Hall [album] was the most memorable, and in my not so humble opinion, the best album EVER recorded.

Q: Did you save any memorabilia? If so, which is your favorite and why?

A: Yeah, I sure did. But after 30 years, I've lost a lot of it or given it away. I still have some of the CMA awards for Best Band. Along with those, my favarite memorabilia is the Number One Bass Player Award for 1970 from the ACMA.

Q: Other than recording with Buck, have you appeared on any albums with other artists? If so, who and what album?

A: When I left Buck in 1971 and moved back here to Nashville,Tennessee, I started doing studio session work. I could never remember who all I worked for.....A LOT...

Q: As a musician, when performing with or for Buck, how much freedom did you have to change portions of a song. In other words, did you have the freedom to basically create your own part?

A: The Chief let us have more freedom than you can imagine. Thats one of the reasons there will never be another BUCK OWENS AND THE BUCKAROOS.

Q: When was the last time you spoke with Buck?

A: I spoke to him about 6 months ago [and] I suggested we get the remaining Buckaroos together for two or three dates in the near future with maybe Dwight Yoakam. It's still up in the air.

Q: Have you been to or performed at the Crystal Palace? Do you have any plans to do so?

A: At Buck's suggestion, Tom, Willie and [I] went to the Buck Owens Birthday bash [on] August 15, 1999. Check out my website DoyleHolly.com [for more information].

Q: What, if anything, do you miss about being a Buckaroo?

A: I guess it would be the friendship we all shared.

Q: What, if anything, do you not miss about being a Buckaroo?


Q: What is the one (or two or three or . . .) things you remember most about Buck?

A: I can remember a lot of things about Buck, but I guess mostly was the way he would take a drink of milk or anything cold. Because of a scar on his lip, he would have to drink from one side of his mouth. I remember he was a pretty damn good golfer, too.

Q: When was your last contact with the Buckaroos?

A: I stay in touch with Tom and Willie pretty often. Tom has a show in Branson, Missouri, and Willie works at the Nashville Palace here in Nashville.

Q: Were you a part of any of the albums put out in the sixties by the Buckaroos without Buck?

A: Yes, I was on all of them except one they recorded in 1966 during my absence.

Q: Did you have a favorite of those albums?

A: I suppose it would be the one where [we] recorded "Greensleeves".

Q: Who were those girls that were always on the cover of the albums with you guys?

A: Those girls were models. I don't know their names.

Q: How did those albums get started? Whose idea was it?

A: It had to be Buck's.

Q: Did Buck have anything to do with those albums?

A: Yes, he picked the songs or would have the final say as to what we recorded.

Q: Did ya'll ever tour as the Buckaroos without Buck?

A: We did a couple of short tours without Buck [in] Canada, etc.

Q: Please feel free to share any other thoughts or comments you might have.

A: If you have any more questions please free to contact me.

Thanks for the interview, Mr. Holly! Even though you've moved on, it's great to know that you're still a Buckaroo at heart. And you'll always be close to our hearts.

Keep on Buckin'

stephenhargrove productions