SAVANNAH, GA – Buck Page, country and western music legend and founder of the famous western group Riders of the Purple Sage, received the North America Country Music Associations International’s (NACMAI) prestigious Country/Western Living Legend Award on March 18, 2001. Buck was honored for his extensive career in the music industry at a ceremony that was held at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Fred Gretsch, president of the Gretsch Company, was present at the ceremony in support of Buck saying “This is a wonderful occasion . . . one we are happy to attend”. The event was a fitting tribute to a man who has played an important part in this country’s western music heritage. Buck Page is well respected in the music community and is also an enthusiastic endorser of Gretsch instruments.
As a teenager in 1936, Buck founded The Riders of the Purple Sage, naming the group after the famous Zane Grey novel of the same name. By the late 30s Buck and the band had established themselves as radio stars, and in 1940 were regular performers at “The Village Barn” in New York City, the top nightclub in the nation for western music. In May of that year Jimmie Webster, a Gretsch representative and guitar virtuoso, outfitted the band with distinctive blond-colored Gretsch instruments.
In 1998, 58 years from their first Gretsch endorsement, The Riders once again joined the Gretsch family of artist endorsers. “We both realized how unique this endorsement would be, given the longevity and heritage of both The Gretsch Company and The Riders of the Purple Sage,” said Fred Gretsch about this special relationship.
Buck and current band members Mike Ley, Cody Bryant and Dart Zubis, maintain a very busy schedule of performances and entertain legions of their fans, as well as Gretsch fans, as they use their Gretsch instruments throughout the country. Buck shows no signs of slowing down and will be one of the honorees at the Los Angeles Music Week event in December of this year.
The Gretsch family has been making fine musical instruments since 1883, and is in their fourth generation of family ownership and their third century of instrument manufacturing. Through the years, Gretsch has designed and built some of the most appreciated and renowned guitars ever made. Gretsch is proud to have Buck Page and the Riders of the Purple Sage endorse their products.