Remembering Country Super Star Buck Owens

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the great Buck Owens left us. He continuing musical legacy and influence is still a force to be reckoned with even in the new age of country music.

Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr., on  August 12, 1929, Buck passed if a heart attack on March 25, 2006 in his sleep of a heart attack after performing at his California theater.

Buck was an American musician, singer, songwriter and band leader who had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts with his band the Buckaroos. They pioneered what came to be called the Bakersfield sound, a reference to Bakersfield, California, the city Owens called home and from which he drew inspiration for what he preferred to call American music.

Beginning in 1969, Owens co-hosted the TV series Hee Haw with Roy Clark. through 1986. Buck recorded 21 #1 records in his lifetime.

In early 1963, the Johnny Russell song “Act Naturally” was pitched to Owens, who initially didn’t like it, but his guitarist and long time collaborator, Don Rich, enjoyed it and convinced Owens to record it, which he did with the Buckaroos, on February 12, 1963. It was released on March 11 and entered the charts of April 13. By June 15 the single began its first of four non-consecutive weeks at the No. 1 position. It was Owens’ first No. 1 hit. The Beatles later recorded a cover of it in 1965, with Ringo Starr as lead singer. Ringo Starr later re-recorded the song as a duet with Owens in 1988

Owens is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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