GAC Rushes Buck Special To Air

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With the reported death of country music great and country music TV vet Buck Owens Saturday at age 76, cable channel Great American Country will debut a special featuring an interview with the country singer Monday night at 7:30.

The interview was taped last year in Bakersfield, Calif., during the Legends of Bronze salute to a select group of country artists. The big story out of that event was Garth Brooks proposal to Tricia Yearwood, so that interview never aired, according to a spokeswoman for the channel.

With the death of Owens ("I've Got a Tiger By the Tail" is probably his most widely known song), GAC rushed to put together the special with footage that included Owens saying that it would be "the last interview of his life" (Owens had suffered a stroke two years before).

Owens was a TV staple in the 1960's, 70's, and 80's, an era of flashy suits and acres of musical heartbreak, appearing on numerous music/variety shows and probably best know for a high-profile stint on Hee-Haw as a kind of country Abbott to Roy Clark's Costello.

That show was roundly hooted at by critics and lasted only a couple of years on CBS, another victim of the great rustic show purge of the early 1970's that saw the departure from CBS of Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres.

But Hee-Haw and Owens & company's brand of corny humor and good country music was just as roundly embraced by a large syndication audience in middle America and beyond that helped it to a 20-plus-year run.

That show's dated humor does not hold up, but Buck and Roy's pickin' and grinnin' still does.GAC will re-air the special, Buck Owens: The Final Conversation, at 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., as well as at various times throughout the week.

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