Über Buck Owens
Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and music business mogul Buck Owens might be more famous for his long tenure on the country music TV show Hee Haw than for the fact that he was probably the most successful country act of the 1960s. Born in Texas in 1929, Owens settled in Bakersfield, Calif., in 1951 and set about creating the Bakersfield Sound. By the early '60s, Owens and his band the Buckaroos had forged a lean, hard Honky-Tonk sound different from what was happening in Nashville at the time. Owens and his main musical foil Don Rich alternated on lead guitar, while steel guitarist Tom Brumley played razor-sharp fills on the up-tempo songs and sweeping solos on the ballads. Owens' songs, many of which have become standards, are lessons in sharp wordplay and musical economy. Almost everything the band did, including solo records from the Buckaroos, went into the charts and stayed there for quite a while. When Owens' close friend and protege Don Rich died at age thirty-three in 1974, Owens scaled back his work, eventually going on to host Hee Haw. Owens still played regularly at his Crystal Palace club in Bakersfield until his death on March 24, 2006. He remains revered by old and new fans around the world.