Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
Buck Owens, who died in 2006, was a well-known country western singer, musician, and songwriter who had 21 number one hits with his band the Buckaroos. Some of you may remember Buck on Hee-Haw, a TV series that spanned 1969 through the 1980s. Buck lived a large part of his life in Bakersfield, California and pioneered the Bakersfield country western sound. In 1996 he created the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield – a restaurant, bar, museum, and theater/dancehall – which offers live country western music 6 nights every week. Buddy Owens, Buck’s son and a fine musician in his own right, performs with the Buckaroos almost every weekend at the Crystal Palace.
Bakersfield is roughly half way (200 miles) between San Francisco and Los Angeles. We travel through Bakersfield for polka dances in Southern California and often stopover in Bakersfield to catch the music and dance at the Crystal Palace. On September 10, the Fruit Tramps, a local Bakersfield band laid down some great hillbilly rock & roll with some two steps and line dances. The place was well-occupied for a Tuesday night, especially when a busload of French tourists stopped by to catch the show and sample the cuisine.
Buck was a prolific songwriter, who composed many polkas. When Buck performed at the Crystal Palace in days gone by, he would play one when he saw us on the dance floor. Lucky for us, Steve Drzewicki, leader of the Drzewicki Band from Michigan, plays lots of really great Buck Owens’ tunes and the band will visit us in Fontana at the Sons of Italy hall March 22-23, 2014.