Buffalo Benford Standley has been in the business of entertainment since Moby Dick was a minnow and sees himself as an Okie Gonzo Outlaw Folklorist and Showbusiness Carney. The passion that has driven him on a main line all the years in show business has been the history and the roots of the different tracks that music has laid in these United States since the guitar from Spain met the Native American Drum. Maybe somewhere in Texas in another century followed by singing cowboys, folk singers, gospel choirs, the blues in the south, race music to hillbilly on to country music evolving to rock and roll by finding the old timmers and taling to them on camera. Benford self published three books on the state and fate of children and working with runaway teens.
Buffalo has produced shows and/or done interviews with the likes of his friend Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Les Paul, Bob Dylan, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Clint Eastwood, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Emmylou Harris, Kevin Bacon, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Gary Busey, Michael Martin Murphey, Leon Russell, Hoyt Axton, David Amram, Roger McGuinn and John York of the Byrds, many of the great singing cowboys like Gene Aurty and Buck Page of the Riders of the Purple Sage, Patsy Montana, Jenette Carter of the carter family and hundreds more...
After Merle passed away and I came out of the dark fog and with wonderment of what to do... write a book or make a film whatever I knew I had a huge task ahead of me just getting all the years of Rodgers and Haggard boxes and boxes of paper work. Many thousands of photos, and film. I had a storage room and some 25 boxes that were my archives of several projects. I am a wild man at research and writing
Producer Chuck Banner was out at Merle Haggard's studio shooting him for a project on Jimmie Dean and a day with Benford on Jimmie Rodgers and sat Merle down to talk some about his friend Buffalo Benford.
Chuck: Merle, when did you meet ole Benford?
Merle: “I have been knowing him about 10 to 12 years. When I ran into Benford, I realized that he was in a search for all the information he could find. Seems like every time we get together we end up in the same area, something about country music history. He is a history buff and I guess I am too...I enjoy digging out the truth of what really occurred. Benford is one of those kind of people also.”
Chuck: Have you learned much from him? He's been chasing the stories and his life sounds a lot like Jimmie's Rodgers life himself.
Merle: “I've learned a lot from Benford. He knows stories about Jimmie Rodgers that leads to other people...Hank Snow and Earnest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell. I don't know why my passion level is as a child. I am still interested in finding out something about my heroes, and he is in the same business (laughs). When I see him coming I know what we are going to be talking about. I know he is a history buff and a interesting person and he has worked awful hard to prepare this chunk of history.
Chuck: Merle, you don't let a lot of people just come on the bus, or go on tours with you?
Merle: “No, that's right.”
Chuck: How come Benford made it into the mix?
Merle: Well, I could tell immediately that he was (pause) “Knowledgeable” about what he talked about and that was interesting to me. I didn't know if he was there to tell me something or find out something (laughs) but it is always interesting to talk to Benford.”
Chuck: It's a passion with him...
Merle: “It sure is, you can see that, not hard to tell that.