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Buck Griffin
Born:  February 23, 1923
Died:  February 14, 2009
KRLD Big D Jamboree
WKY Oklahoma City, OK

Albert (Buck) Griffin's journey to country music did not take the usual turn to get on the scene. He became a songwriter and found inspiration through the job he had at the time - selling Bibles. Each home he visited it seemed gave him a different story, sometimes of a hard life the families were experiencing.

He was born in Corsicana, Texas, but while growing up, he lived in Oklahoma and Kansas City.

He started playing a cheap (one article termed it 'badly bruised') guitar when he was twelve years old. He started to develop his skills and when he was 14, he and three other friends formed their own band and began playing at school and local dances. Buck would do the vocals.

He left the family farm when he was 15 and took a job digging ditches for pipelines in Kansas. A few years later, he was working in the oil fields.

Around 1950, he landed his first real radio job over radio station WKY in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A Cowboy Songs short feature on Buck notes that the station's program director, Paul Brawner, heard him audition and signed him up. Shortly after that, he had a two year recording contract with the Lin Record company based in Gainesville, Texas. But he was using the name of Chuck Wyman, because Buck thought it '...sounded more western'. By that time, he was married and they had a boy and girl.

Uncle Jim Christie noted in a 1955 column that he had a visit in his studio by Joe Leonard, Jr. of Lin Records who was probably on a promotional tour, promoting two recently signed artists, Buck and Frank Starr.

In August 1955, he cut his first gospel tunes, "Next To Mine" b/w "Lord, Give Me Strength". Country & Western Jamboree as they so often did back then, offered a couple lines about these tunes in their feature, "Checkin' The Records." "..When the Lord takes him away he wants to be buried next to her. Buck also asks for strength to tell the world about God."

In early 1955, Martha Fergerson was reporting that Buck had moved his base of operations to Great Bend, Kansas. He was to have his own televsion show over the new station, KCKT.

A 1957 feature article on Buck Griffin by Smokey Warren in Rustic Rhythm did not offer much else in the way of new information not already seen in previous articles leading up to Buck's signing with MGM records.

Many country music stars of that era had a fan club and Buck was no different. Along about early 1956, Joan Shaffer of Marietta, Oklahoma was telling Country & Western Jamboree magazine that they had just formed one for Buck and were letting them know he was now a regular on the Big D Jamboree. What is interesting at times is where the president of the fan club was located in relation to where the star was based. In early 1958, Janice Ewing was Buck's fan club president (it was also for Andy Starr) and she was located in Imperial, Pennsylvania.

Credits & Sources

  • Pickin' and Singin' News; Vol II No. 26; January 31, 1955; Fountain Publications, Inc.; Nashville, TN
  • Country & Western Jamboree; April 1955; Country & Western Jamboree, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Cowboy Songs; No. 40; April 1955; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Country & Western Jamboree; May 1955; Country & Western Jamboree, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country & Western Jamboree; September 1955; Country & Western Jamboree, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country & Western Jamboree; October 1955; Country & Western Jamboree, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country & Western Jamboree; February 1956; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country Song Roundup; No. 47; December 1956; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT
  • Rustic Rhythm; Vol. 1 No. 2; May 1957; Rustic Rhythm, Inc.; New York, NY
  • Country & Western Jamboree; September 1957; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • On The Trail; Vol. 1 No. 2; March - April 1958; Trail Publications; New York, NY

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Recordings
 
Lin
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1005 A It Don't Make No Never Mind
  1005 B Meadowlark Boogie
  1007 A Rollin' Tears
  1007 B One Day After Payday
  1008A A Going Home, All Alone
  1008A B Lookin' For The Green
  1014 A Next To Mine
  1014 B Lord, Give Me Strength
  1015 A Let's Elope, Baby
  1015 B Bawlin' And Squallin'
  1016 A Go-Stop-O!
  1016 B Cochise
  1018 A Little Dan
  1018 B Neither Do I
  5030 A 26 Steps
  5030 B First Man To Stand On The Moon
 
MGM
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  12284 A Stutterin' Papa
  12284 B Watchin' The 7:10 Roll By
  12439 A Bow My Back
  12439 B Old Bee Tree
  12597 A Jessie Lee
  12597 B You'll Never Come Back
 
Metro Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  20007 A Every Night
  20007 B The Party
 
Rotary Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  459 A Too Many Honky Tonks
  459 B Seven Lonely Rooms
  460 A I Can't Keep My Wheels On The Ground
  460 B Flashing Lights, Wine And Me
  461 A No More Fun
  461 B One Day After Payday
  462 A Green River Towns
  462 B Greener Pastures
 
Holiday Inn Records
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  109 A Pretty Lou
  109 B Girl in 1209


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