• Added info on Jimmy Ford, thanks to Volker Houghton. • Extended and corrected the post on Happy Harold Thaxton (long overdue), thanks to everyone who sent in memories and information! • Added information to the Jim Murray post, provided by Mike Doyle, Dennis Rogers, and Marty Scarbrough. • Expanded the information on Charlie Dial found in the Little Shoe post.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Buck Jones on Tiki

Buck Jones - Girl Watcher (Tiki T-803), 1971

No, this is not the famous western movie actor of the same name. This is Buck Jones from North Carolina, a country music performer and DJ. Jones worked with Tommy Hagen in the late 1950s and early 1960s, spinning the records over WGTM out of Wilson, North Carolina. The duo specialized in Louvin Brothers songs and did their first recording in 1960 for Ronald Killette's Glendale label.

I found out the truth about their first record only a couple of days ago. During my research on Ronald Killette alias Buck Trail, I learned of his Glendale label in Orlando, Florida. The second release on this label was by Buck and Tommy, "Beneath Miami Skies" / "Lady Friend" (Glendale #1001). I always assumed this was Ronald Killette under his stage name "Buck Trail," who teamed up with a singer called Tommy, which I also stated in my article about Trail (American Music Magazine #137, December 2014). Actually, I'm now pretty sure this is wrong and - in addition - I'm quite sure this duo is in fact Buck Jones and Tommy Hagen. Killette hailed from Goldsboro, North Carolina, and may have known Jones and Hagen already earlier. Also, Killette was active in both South Forida and North Carolina on and off during the 1960s and 1970s. 

The fact that the duo on Glendale was made up of Buck Jones and Tommy Hagen instead of Ronald Killette makes me doubt of the picture I used in my article. This supposedly showed Killette with an unknown singer but now to me it seems more probable that this was in fact Buck Jones and Tommy Hagen.

Buck Jones and Tommy Hagen had another release on Jim Price's Jim Dandy label out of Newberry, South Carolina (see here for more info). "A Lost Love" / "Never Love Again" (Jim Dandy #1007) was released around 1961/1962. Buck and Tommy had worked with a guitarist named Jimmy Capps, who joined the Louvin Brothers' band in 1960. Tommy Hagen did the same in 1963: about eight months after the Louvins' split-up in 1963, he joined Charlie Louvin as a mandolin player and vocalist, taking over Ira's high parts.

Buck Jones, however, stayed in the Wilson area and appeared on local radio, TV and in nightclubs. He also kept on recording for small labels. And now, we're coming to today's selection. Around 1971, Jones again recorded for Ronald Killette and released at three two singles on Killette's Tiki label, which was based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The first one was "A Box of Grass" (Tiki #T-800, flip side unknown to me, ca. 1969), "Girl Watcher" / "Down in the Boondocks" (Tiki #803), followed by another issue "A Box of Grass" / "I'm Made for Loving" (Tiki #804, 1971). "Girl Watcher" was a big hit in 1968 for the O'Kaysions, produced by Ronald Killette at Pitt Sound Studios in Greenville, North Carolina. I supsect the Tiki released were recorded at Arthur Smith's studio in Charlotte.

I couldn't turn up any other info on Buck Jones. If someone has, please feel free to contact me.

Further reading:

See also: Charles K. Wolfe: "In Close Harmony: The Story of the Louvin Brothers"


Anonymous said...

Buck Jones owns a nightclub in Wilson, NC called Bucks Western Saloon. It lists him as the owner so I am assuming you can contact him via the listed phone nr.


Demetriss Tapp said...

For four years I sang, along with Buck Jones and Tommy Hagen on WTVD's Jim Thornton show and have often wondered what happened to them after I came to Nashville and signed with Columbia Records..
Jimmy Capps was lead guitar on the Thornton Show for a while, then joined the Louvin's and has for many years been one of Nashville's top session pickers, bandleader at the Grand Ole Opry, plus, guitarist on the Larry Black Show RFD TV...and is now in the Musician's Hall Of Fame...Not bad for a Carolina boy...
I didn't know that Tommy joined Charlie Louvin after Ira was killed in a car wreck...Thanks for that info..I'm going to try once again to locate them just to say hello...
Demetriss Tapp/Nashville TN

George said...

Hi - I just found four 45's of Girl Watcher/Down In The Boondocks from my late Father's archives. I have no idea why he had them, but I know he wrote songs with south florida bands including The Jesters, The Mysteries and The Painted faces. My Grandfather had a studio in Naples, Florida called Qualicon. George Pittman. 239-633-5288

Anonymous said...

Tommy Hagan is a pastor in Wilson NC since 1965 Buck Jones past away about two years ago.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. My dad, use to take us to The American Legion in Wilson to see the Buck Jones Show. Ray Radford was also there. I was wondering what ever happen to Buck. Now I know! Thanks again!! John Whitaker (Joe) is my dad.

Mellow said...

Thank you all for your comments. I promise I will amend this post as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

I would really love to get a copy of Bucks music. Is there any way possible?

Mellow said...

As far as I'm concerned, Jones' recordings were never reissued in CD so you have to purchase the original 45's. I have one or two in my collection, if you want copies for your own I recommend visiting ebay.