In a genre full of colorful characters, Buddy Max is certainly not the most famous, but might be the most weird. Collectors of oddball, self-produced recordings have held a longtime devotion to Max's song "The Birthmark Story," which, at nearly eight minutes, is longer than "McArthur Park" and has much better lyrics, namely a blow-by-blow description of a GI having a birthmark removed by a bloodthirsty Korean surgeon. Dwelling on this song would give a false impression of what Max is all about, however. Born Boris Max Pastuch, he is very much a sentimental country artist from the old-school, whose early influences were cowboy singers such as Gene Autry and Johnny Bond. According to his online biography, Max made his first recording in 1949 on Broadway and 42nd Street in New York City, evidence that he has been a do-it-yourself artist from the start, as this could very well be a reference to the booth that used to stand in this location where one could cut an instant record for a quarter. A few years later, Max was playing with the Kingwood Township Plowboy Band in Hollywood, CA, and he cut a second record in 1955 in Tampa, FL, although perhaps not in a 25-cent recording booth. Eventually, he settled in Florida, where his wife-to-be, Freda, heard him singing on a radio station in Tampa. The great part of Max's career and recorded output centered around his home base of Lecanto, FL, where he bought his own flea market in 1957 and reigned as America's Singing Flea Market Cowboy. He performed at the flea market and printed a series of albums and CDs, some of which contain songs about flea markets and the public who shops at them. He has also performed out of state at events such as the Northwoods Bluegrass and Country Festival in White Cloud, MI; he performed country music on roller skates. Max's son, Johnny Pastuch, was a journalist, musician, and actor and was closely involved with his father, playing bass in his bands. In 1996, Johnny Pastuch was murdered in his sleep at his home in Pike County, AL. A group calling themselves Friends of John Pastuch started a website offering a 250,000 dollar reward for information about this murder. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi