In 1964, Buck Owens was coming off a 16-week Number One hit with "Love's Gonna Live Here" when he released the double-sided smash "Together Again" and "My Heart Skips a Beat." Both songs reached Number One with the latter tune — a classic honky-tonk shuffle carried along by Don Rich's guitar work — logging seven weeks at the top and the ballad on the b-side enjoying a two-week stay at the peak position.
Fast forward more than 50 years to a time when Owens' influence is alive and well with artists including longtime Grand Ole Opry member Brad Paisley and first-time guest Opry performer Aubrie Sellers. The electric guitar sounds and the rest of the production employed on Sellers' outstanding debut LP New City Blues are rawer and more visceral than anything Owens could have imagined, but at her core the singer-songwriter is as much a honky-tonk angel as her famous mom, Lee Ann Womack — who showed allegiance to Owens in early hits such as "Never Again, Again" from her debut LP, which also featured a cut called "Buckaroo."
When Sellers made her Grand Ole Opry debut earlier this month, her two-song set included a vibrant take on "My Heart Skips a Beat," proving that cardiac palpitations aren't always a bad thing. For Sellers, the Opry experience was a bit like performing at her own debutante ball.
"Playing at the Opry, for me, it has such a history," Sellers tells Rolling Stone Country. "It feels sort of like a coming-out party as a country artist. To know your heroes have played here is kind of crazy."
Sellers will revisit even more Opry history this weekend as she opens for Chris Stapleton on Saturday at the legendary radio show's former home, the Ryman Auditorium.