2018 has already seen the announcement of lost albums and never-before-heard recordings by Prince, John Coltrane, and Bobby Darin. Now a fourth late icon is recipient of a vault excavation that’s sure to delight his fans. On August 17, Omnivore Recordings will issue Country Singer’s Prayer from the great Buck Owens.
The country hero was in the final year of his contract to Capitol Records in 1975 when he recorded Country Singer’s Prayer in his Bakersfield studio. Buck had weathered the death of his close friend and collaborator Don Rich the year before, but the changing sound of country music was taking its toll. “The Battle of New Orleans,” recorded for Country Singer’s Prayer, only reached No. 51 on the C&W survey. When Capitol next released the album’s title track as a single, it missed the chart entirely. The decision was then made to shelve the full LP, and the label reassigned its catalogue number to a sixth (yes, sixth) volume of The Best of Buck Owens. Both songs would also be included on that album but the remainder of the album would go unheard until a 2012 Bear Family box set. Buck would return to some of its material at his next label home, Warner Bros. Records.
More than forty years later, Omnivore is now teaming with The Buck Owens Estate for the first-ever standalone release of what would have been Owens’ final Capitol album, Country Singer’s Prayer. It’s been remastered from the original tapes in its originally intended sequence, and also includes the B-sides to “The Battle of New Orleans” and “Country Singer’s Prayer”: “Run Him to the Round House Nellie (You Might Corner Him There)” and “Meanwhile Back at the Ranch” (the latter of which was also included on The Best of Buck Owens Vol. 6). Scott B. Bomar’s new liner notes are drawn from interviews with Buckaroos pianist Jim Shaw (co-author of the album’s title track) and R.J. Jones, a.k.a. Rocky Topp, with whom Shaw wrote the song.
This rare discovery from Buck Owens is due on August 17 in both CD and digital formats from Omnivore! It can be pre-ordered directly from the label below, with Amazon links to follow!
- John Law
- Love Don’t Make the Bars (*)
- He Ain’t Been Out Bowling with the Boys (*)
- Drifting Away (*)
- The Battle of New Orleans (previously released as Capitol single 4138, 1975)
- Country Singer’s Prayer (previously released as Capitol single 4181, 1975)
- California Okie (*)
- A Different Kind of Sad (*)
- It’s Been a Long, Long Time (*)
- How’s Everything (*)
- Run Him to the Round House, Nellie (You Might Corner Him There) (previously released as Capitol single 4138, 1975)
- Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (previously released as Capitol single 4181, 1975)
(*) track premiered on Tall Dark Stranger: The Buck Owens & The Buckaroos Recordings 1969-1975, Bear Family BCD 16898, 2012