A 1964 hit song, “Together Again” was first recorded by American country singer and guitarist Buck Owens.
This song has been covered by different artists, from one music genre to another. From being a country hit, it crossed the pop charts, took off, and went on top. But whoever sings it and whatever genre it is sung through, still, this song lives on as a great country music.
Among the notable versions of this song was that of Ray Price‘s and Ray Charles‘. Watch, listen and share us who you think sang it better. (It would be a tough choice, for sure.)
Ray Price’s Version
Ray Charles’ Version
Story Behind “Together Again”
1963 was the turning point for Buck Owens. He had notched the first of his 21 number one hits in late spring with “Act Naturally.” Then, it was followed up in early fall with what would turn out to be his biggest record “Love’s Gonna Live Here.” It was the thirteenth biggest country single of all-time, which spent sixteen weeks at the summit of Billboard’s country chart.
One of his self-penned tunes that seemed to reveal a much deeper Buck Owens was “Together Again.” Shortly after composing this song, Owens immediately dismissed it as a “throwaway” piece. He had written the number in just a few minutes and perhaps because it had taken so little effort, Owens couldn’t see the song’s real merits.
“Together Again” spoke of the joy of reclaimed love in an almost prayerful manner. Its simple message was wrapped in a melody that seemed almost better-suited for a song about heartbreak, not love rekindled. With its mournful music set against a happy message, it reminded the listener of just how much it hurts to lose someone you love. Yet, it also spelled out that this deep anguish is what makes getting back together again so wonderful.
A Successful Hit
Buck threw “Together Again” on the “B” side of the high-energy number “My Heart Skips A Beat.” Nothing was expected of the ballad. Yet, just a week after the “A” side landed on Billboard’s country singles chart on March 28, 1964, “Together Again” followed.
On the other hand, “My Heart Skips A Beat” reached no. 1 in May and logged a three-week stay at the summit. Then, interestingly, “Together Again” knocked “My Heart Skips A Beat” out of the top spot on June 6th. Additionally, it marked the only time in country music history that the “B” side of a record replaced the “A” side at number one.
“Together Again,” the ballad that Buck Owens had tossed aside as a loser, was now one of his biggest hits. Yet, the man with the happy face and sly grin never seemed comfortable singing “Together Again” on stage. It always looked as though he was a bit uneasy having to stand still and sing so seriously about love.
Eventually, he “retired” the song from his concert performances shortly after the frenzy about it had diminished following its initial chart run. Though, Ray Charles recorded “Together Again” on the pop side a couple of years later and went into the Top 20 with it.
“Together Again“: A Legacy of Buck Owens
Buck Owens’ impact on the country music world has often been overlooked through the years.
Although notching 21 chart-topping hits and holding the no. 1 position for eighty-two weeks, ranking him as one of country’s ten most-successful recording artists, his influence is sometimes dismissed without much thought or consideration.
This might be contributed to his “happy-go-lucky” demeanor on the “Hee Haw” television series. However, as an artist and songwriter, Owens stands tall. He not only forged a new, wildly successful sound but was also responsible for bringing country music to a legion of new converts. Buck’s honest approach and easy smile won him millions of fans. Yet, his most lasting and impressive work may have been one whose potential not even he could foresee.
“Together Again” became an indelible classic despite Owens’ initial opinion of it… And the song will always be around to remind us of the man’s genius.