Buck White was a spearhead of the new traditional movement that spread through country music in the 1980s and early '90s. With daughters Cheryl on bass and Sharon on guitar, the Whites placed such tunes as "Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling" and "Wonder Who's Holding My Baby Tonight" on the country music charts. Grand Ole Opry members since 1984, the Whites were called "the first family of country music" by Country Music U.S.A.
A native of rural Oklahoma, White grew up in Abilene, Texas. Shortly after meeting and marrying his wife, Pat, White played with a series of local Western swing bands. Temporarily relocating to Arkansas in the early '60s, White played traditional bluegrass before moving to Nashville and switching to country music. Although he and his wife recorded for several independent labels, White supplemented his income by working in construction. In 1966, White assembled a family band called the Down Home Folks with his wife, daughters, and country musicians Arnold and Peggy Johnston. The group's first recording session was on a remote system set up in a Nashville motel room. Their fortunes began to improve in 1981 when they signed with Capitol and recorded a minor country hit, "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On." The following year, the group switched to Elektra and recorded its first Top Ten hits, "You Put the Blue in Me" and "Hangin' Around."
A turning point in White's history came in 1983 when dobro wiz Jerry Douglas joined the group. (He remained with the band until 1987.) In 1979, the Whites recorded with Douglas, Roland White (of the Kentucky Colonels and the Nashville Bluegrass Band), and Sharon's future husband, Ricky Skaggs. The group subsequently toured as the opening act for Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, which featured Skaggs on mandolin and guitar. Although most of his recordings have come with the Down Home Folks and the Whites, White has recorded two solo albums: Poor Folks Pleasure in 1978 and More Pretty Girls Than One in 1980. ~ Craig Harris