"Together Again," But We Keep On Crying: Buck Owens, Tom Brumley, and the Pedal Steel Guitar, 1964

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Chelsea Burns


Buck Owens and the Buckaroos' 1964 hit "Together Again" tells of a couple's reunion in ambivalent terms. However, the song is best known for Tom Brumley's pedal steel guitar solo, a quintessential example of the trademark "crying" sound of the instrument. Brumley's steel stylings emphasize a negative interpretation of the text, and some of the most poignant elements of his remarkable solo were guided by the mechanics of the instrument. I explore the relationship between the limits and special capabilities of the pedal steel guitar, and discuss how Brumley highlights both of these aspects in this brief yet famous solo, illustrating relationships between text and technics in this iconic recording.

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