A classic of the Bakersfield sound, would be their fifth number one, was recorded on December 1, 1964, in Hollywood, California, and released on December 28. The song would be included on the album, I’ve Got A Tiger by The Tail (Capitol 1965), which was released on March 10, 1965.
Harlan Howard and Buck Owens, met to write songs, Owens realized that things were going slowly. Suddenly, he saw a sign of the Esso service station, with its slogan that said, Put a tiger in your tank, And, from there came the idea, because the tiger is a fast and strong animal, he feels that everything they do goes slowly, he incorporated the animal in the song.
For most of his performances, Owens always sang this song with Don Rich, the leader of the Buckaroos. In fact, Rich is considered the most loyal member of the band. Compared as a hand and a glove, the two shared much of the stage. They were an incredible duo and have surprised their audiences. In an interview, Owens recalled that their voices, combined, do more than the sum of their parts. Unfortunately, he died at an early age, aged 32, because of a car accident.
I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail, is also an expression used when: “Face an obsession, look for an idea, a talent or even an obsessive vice, facing a difficult problem.” From the “Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).
Some versions :
Dave Berry 1965 ( Decca )
Ernest Tubb 1965 ( Decca )
Del Reeves 1965 ( Unaited Artist Records )
Ray Charles 1965 ( ABC Paramount )
Peter & Gordon 1966 ( Capitol )
David Houston 1970 ( Epic)
The Walkers 1974 ( Killroy Records )
Sara Evans 1997 ( RCA )
The Derailers 2007 ( Palo Duro Records )