Don Rich (1941–1974)

Don Rich was a gifted guitarist, fiddler, singer, and songwriter. His main success came from teaming up with Buck Owens and the group the Buckaroos. Rich and Owens play together at dances and on a Tacoma-area television program, with Don primarily playing fiddle. Don Rich was Buck Owens's “pickin' buddy.” Don found his first success with the Buckaroos 1961 when they scored hits for Capitol Records titled “You're for Me” and “Kickin' Our Hearts Around.” They also made a number of albums on their own, including The Buckaroos Play the Hits, an all-instrumental collection released in April 1971. Rich released his own album, titled Fiddlin' Man, a few months later.

At this point, Don Rich was better known for his virtuoso ability on the guitar. But with national exposure on the television show Hee Haw, Rich became a celebrity on a show that also starred his boss and chief collaborator. Sadly, Rich was killed on July 17, 1974, en route to meet his family in Morro Bay, when his motorcycle struck a highway divider. Buck Owens spoke of Don Rich decades later in a television interview, where he said with tears in his eyes, “Don was my picking buddy. I lost my friend and pickin' buddy.”

Country Pickin' is the first-ever compilation of the signature guitar style, fiddle work, and vocal genius of the late Don Rich. This compilation includes twenty-four precise representations of the legendary Bakersfield sound. Featured on the compilation are classics like “Buckaroo” and “I'm Coming Back Home to Stay.”

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