I've Got a Tiger By the Tail

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For the Buck Owens album, see I've Got a Tiger By the Tail (album).
"I've Got a Tiger By the Tail"
Single by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos
from the album I've Got a Tiger by the Tail
Released December 28, 1964 (U.S.)
Format 7"
Recorded December 1, 1964
Hollywood, California
Genre Country
Length 2:13
Label Capitol 5336A
Writer(s) Harlan Howard and Buck Owens
Producer(s) Ken Nelson
Buck Owens and the Buckaroos singles chronology
"I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)"
"I've Got a Tiger By the Tail"
"Before You Go"

"I've Got a Tiger By the Tail" is a song made famous by country music band Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. Released in December 1964, the song was one of Owens' signature songs and showcases of the Bakersfield sound in the genre.

About the song[edit]

Owens — in the liner notes to The Buck Owens Collection: 1959-1990 — recalled that he and songwriter Harlan Howard had gotten together to write songs, but things were going slowly. Then, Owens saw an Esso gas station sign with the company's slogan at the time, "Put a tiger in your tank" ... and got an idea.[1]

Released in December 1964 (just weeks after he had recorded it), "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail" was Owens' and the Buckaroos sixth No. 1 hit on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in February 1965. The song is Owens' and the Buckaroos biggest hit (and only top-40 hit) on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 25,[2] although its five weeks atop the chart made it far from Owens' biggest hit on the country charts — several of his other No. 1 songs spent anywhere from six to 16 weeks at No. 1.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1964-1965) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 25
Canadian RPM Top Singles 12
Preceded by
"You're the Only World I Know"
by Sonny James
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

February 20-March 20, 1965
Succeeded by
"King of the Road"
by Roger Miller


  1. ^ The Buck Owens Collection: 1959-1990, Rhino Records, 1992.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel, "Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006," 2007.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944-2005," 2006.

External links[edit]