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Sings George Jones CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Don Rich Sings George Jones is one of the most exciting country music discoveries in decades. The only solo album ever recorded by Don Rich, legendary lead guitarist and harmony vocalist for Buck Owens & His Buckaroos. Even more amazing is the fact that this album sat in Bucks tape vault unreleased and long forgotten until now.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Omnivore Recordings, LLC
  • ASIN: B00AJ3TOF0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,055 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Harold L. Davis Jr. on February 11, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a loyal lifelong fan of Buck and the Buckaroos, I heartily recommend with joy this rare Don Rich recording from July 1970. Up to then, Don's excellent solo vocals had been confined to Buckaroos albums. Don had expressed future plans to become a solo artist. But this was his first and only true solo outing that somehow strangely got forgotten and never released. But thanks to Buckaroo keyboardist Jim Shaw digging around in the Owens tape vaults, we can finally hear this original session from 1970 containing ten George Jones classic covers sung by the inimitable Don Rich.

Interestingly, Buck did not have a steel guitarist in the band at this point in 1970, having released Jay Dee Maness from duty in 1969 because he could not duplicate the stellar and legendary Buckaroo steelman Tom Brumley. Usually Buck used Buddy Emmons on steel to fill in during 1970 recording sessions but Buddy was not present for this session.

In addition, we get four solo tracks here from ol' Buck himself done especially for "Hee Haw." Two are from 1975 after Don Rich had tragically perished in a July 1974 motorcycle accident. Fiddler Jana Jae and lead guitarist Don Lee adequately but expertly fill in for Dangerous Don Rich on Buck's versions of "Root Beer" and "Four-O-Thirty-Three" in Rich's terribly missed absence. Jana would go on to solo fame but hardly anyone today remembers bearded, bass voiced Don Lee. Lee came and went so quietly during 1974-1980 while no one was looking and today he is sadly no longer with us. No one even seems to recall when or how he died! While a Buckaroo, Lee was switched to rhythm guitar and banjo when steelman Terry Christoffersen showed an uncanny ability to closely mimic Don Rich's guitar style.
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Format: Audio CD
Though Don Rich achieved greatness as Buck Owens' band leader, guitarist, fiddler, harmony vocalist and musical foil, his solo stardom stayed on the backburner. An anthology of his instrumental and vocal turns with the Buckaroos was issued in 2000, but his only true solo album was shelved after its recording in 1970. As with the anthology, this first-ever release of Rich's turn in the spotlight shows him to be a warm vocalist, perhaps not quite as polished a lead or as star-ready as Owens, but distinct, compelling and certainly worthy of some early `70s chart action. Produced by Owens in his Bakersfield studio, and backed by the 1970 edition of the Buckaroos (including Rich, Buddy Alan Owens, Jim Shaw, Doyle Curtsinger and Jerry Wiggins), the sound is much the same as Owens' own recordings of the era.

The song list sticks mostly to Jones' familiar hits of the early-to-mid-1960s, though it reaches back to 1957 for "Too Much Water." Rich sings his own harmonies, but the doubled vocals sound remarkably like the Owens-Rich (or Owens-Owens) combination heard on the Buckaroos recordings. Supplementing the album's original ten tracks are four more Jones covers originally recorded for Hee Haw and featuring Buck Owens singing lead. Neither Rich nor Owens sing anything like Jones, nor do the Buckaroos sound like a Nashville band, all of which help liberate these songs from Jones' long artistic shadow. As with Omnivore's companion volume of Buck Owens' recordings for Hee Haw, this vault find is a welcome discovery and a real treat for fans of Don Rich, Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. [©2013 Hyperbolium]
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I grew up listening to Buck Owens, Don Rich and other Bakersfield sound artists. I knew Don could sing by himself (he did several solo songs on Buck's albums) but to do a whole album and then shelve it? Wow! But I wasn't there in 1970 so I can't say why. But I think Don just didn't want to be a solo artist. But he should have been. His voice is awesome while singing some well known and lesser known George Jones classics. He also plays killer guitar on these tracks. Great CD. Glad it was finally released. You WILL enjoy it.
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Format: Audio CD
Don Rich
"Don Rich Sings George Jones"
(Omnivore, 2013)

A true master of twang, the late Don Rich helped define the "Bakersfield Sound," working as Buck Owens' guitarist throughout the 1960s, and as the leader of the Hee Haw house band in the late '60s and early '70s. Rich was the consummate sideman, but other than several mainly-instrumental albums with the Buckaroos, he never emerged as a solo star. Rich died tragically young in a 1974 motorcycle accident, although he did record one solo album, a George Jones tribute recorded in 1970, though sadly shelved by the label and left in the vaults until now. Finally, four decades later, twangfans and Buckaholics can hear this robust, rootsy outing, where Rich barrels his way through a dozen bouncy old classics from the early Jones canon. As a singer, Rich isn't really on par with Owens, but he's got the same down-home charm and the music will have a familiar irresistible appeal. Good-natured, melodic honky-tonk with a few rough edges -- apparently just enough to scare off the record execs in the countrypolitan era, but definitely the right amount for the hard-country true believers of today. Highly recommended! (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)
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