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I Need Answer About NASA And Country Music Stars Buck Owens And Merle Haggard

February 7, 2014

UPDATE—With some answers at the bottom of this post.   (We just bought this nearly one hour CD on Amazon this afternoon!)

This week James and I watched For All Mankind, a documentary about the Apollo flights to the moon.  The film provides 80 minutes of real NASA footage, taken on the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s.  For All Mankind was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1990.

A couple minutes of the film covered a special recording that Buck Owens and Merle Haggard (and it was inferred others as well) made for one of the astronauts who liked that music.  The film shows the astronaut in space listening to the music via a floating cassette recorder.  It appeared that the words, as in the case of Haggard, were specially recorded for the space flight.

Does anyone know more about this recording?  Was it ever released, and what happened to the cassette that flew into space?

As a great enthusiast of space flight and classic country music I am most interested in more information about this matter.


First I would like to thank the folks at one of my Yahoo groups,  Classic County Music Of 1940s To 1970s.  There is a file in the group of the Bush Owens recordings, and they all are introduced and performed live for the cassette that was then sent into space.  Sign up for the group and have yourself a listen.  It is rather quite a hoot.

My James then found this information.

In early 1972 (the year the actual “Live” At The White House album was released), Buck received another call from his country. This time his mission was to provide music to go to space aboard Apollo 16. A half-hour show was recorded by Buck and his band at his Bakersfield sudios. Astronaut Charlie Duke recollects that the crew enjoyed listening to the tapes in space: “It was really fun—we played those tapes a lot during our flight to and from the Moon.” Now, for the first time, the rest of us Earthbound folks have a chance to hear what those on Apollo 16 heard in space nearly 40 years ago!

From the White House to outer space and the moon! Buck Owens really got around!

One Comment
  1. February 8, 2014 11:06 AM

    Buck Owens and his then-wife, Jennifer Joyce Smith Owens, also bought stars in space. I have that info in my files somewhere.

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