RIP Buck Owens

Published: 2006-03-27
Country musician and inventor of the "Bakersfield Sound" passed away March 25.

Buck Owens sold more than 16 million albums throughout his lifetime and popularized what is known as the "Bakersfield Sound". The sound, which was based out of Bakersfield California, added an element of Rock n' Roll to the mostly soft and syrupy country sound coming out of Nashville at the time.

In 1960 Owens gained his first top ten hit with the tune "Under Your Spell Again" and continued to have success all throughout the sixties with his songs being covered by the likes of Ray Charles and the Beatles.

In 1968 he became host of the country comedy television show Hee Haw. The show was critically berated but featured performances from a bevy of country stars like Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Alan Jackson. It was cancelled in 1971 when CBS felt the need to turn away from country programming.

After a dip in his career during the 70s and 80s, Owens began recording and occasionally touring again in the late eighties. Around the same time, many contemporary country singers began to cite Owens a huge influence on their music.

In 1996 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and opened Buck Owens' Crystal Palace - a restaurant, nightclub, and band museum in Bakersfield. He played there bi-weekly, and actually just performed a show there the day before he passed away.

He died at home of a heart failure on March 25.

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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