Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. (August 12, 1929 – March 25, 2006), known professionally as Buck Owens, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and band leader. He was the lead singer for Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, which had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music chart. He pioneered what came to be called the Bakersfield sound, named in honor of Bakersfield, California, Owens's adopted home and the city from which he drew inspiration for what he preferred to call "American music".
While the Buckaroos originally featured a fiddle and retained pedal steel guitar into the 1970s, their sound on records and onstage was always more stripped-down and elemental. The band's signature style was based on simple story lines, infectious choruses, a twangy electric guitar, an insistent rhythm supplied by a prominent drum track, and high, two-part vocal harmonies featuring Owens and his guitarist Don Rich.
From 1969 to 1986, Owens co-hosted the popular CBS television variety show Hee Haw with Roy Clark (syndicated beginning in 1971). According to Owens' son Buddy Alan, the accidental 1974 death of Don Rich, his closest friend, devastated him for years and impacted his creative efforts until he mounted a comeback in the late 1980s.
Owens is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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