Bonnie Buckingham was born on this day in 1923 in Seattle, Washington. As "Bonnie Guitar" she became the most famous country musician to emerge from the Pacific Northwest. These days she doesn’t get as much glory as legends like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette, but Bonnie Guitar was one of the most successful female country artists of the 1960s.
She launched her recording career as a session guitar player behind artist like Jim Reeves and Dorsey Burnette. Soon young Bonnie had stars in her eyes, and set her sights on her recording her own records. Her first big hit “Dark Moon” (1957) was one of the first country hits to simultaneously crossover to the upper reaches of the pop charts (Patsy Cline was the only other female country artist at the time to achieve a similar feet).
Though her solo career did suffer a brief slump in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she used this time to co-found Dolton Records which launched the careers of Olympia’s wildly mild vocal group, the Fleetwoods as well as one of the most successful instrumental garage bands of the 60s, The Ventures.
After leaving Dolton she went on to also help found another legendary Pacific Northwest label, Jerden Records, known for it's releases by local garage rock bands.
In the late 60s she relaunched her country career once again becoming incredibly commercially successful, even being named Top Female Country Vocalist of 1968.
So, Bonnie's own music may have represented the softer side of the Pacific Northwest sound, her efforts behind the scenes to document and promote the explosive garage rock scene of Washington and Oregon means Bonnie Guitar is the original lady bad ass musician from the Pacific Northwest.
My Record of the Day is pulled from Bonnie's commercial slump era. It's a lovely mid-tempo celebration of triumph over heartbreak with a nice gimmicky chorus. It shoulda been a country hit at the very least. But, perhaps the issue was in the marketing, because this is no "Dark Moon" lament over love lost. This is a declaration of independence.
DJ Action Slacks
I'm excited to highlight some of my favorite records in a variety of genres (soul, R&B, classic country, rockabilly, oldies, garage rock, etc). These won't all necessarily be "dance" records per se. They will all be records that I believe deserve a special listen. I simply love good music, rare or not. Hopefully you will spend some time here and love music right along with me! Lets give this a shot!