Buck Owens
American musician
Buck Owens
Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr., better known as Buck Owens, was an American singer and guitarist 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.
Biography
Buck Owens's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Buck Owens from around the web
The Outsiders
Rolling Stone - about 3 years
Eric Church branded himself a country-music outlaw of consequence on 2011's platinum-selling Chief with the singles "Springsteen" (a Bruce-induced letter to an ex) and "Homeboy" (a tale of hip-hop attitude gone rural) plus riffs that echoed Zeppelin and the Stones as much as Buck Owens On his fourth studio album...
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Rolling Stone article
The 10 best covers on the Garth Brooks box set
USA Today - about 3 years
Highlights from 'Blame It All on My Roots' include remakes of Gladys Knight and Buck Owens.
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USA Today article
Music Review: Buck Owens - 'Buck 'Em! The Music of Buck Owens (1955-1967)'
Seattle Pi - over 3 years
This marvelous two-CD Buck Owens set is the perfect complement to his autobiography.
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Seattle Pi article
Hulu.com: The TV Doctor Pain Assessment Tool: Rating the Best and Worst TV MDs Ever
Huffington Post - over 3 years
You know when you go to the emergency room and they hand you a document that asks you to rate the pain of your freshly shorn-off arm, gunshot wound, or exploding appendix? You know how you always circle "10" and try to get rocket-propelled into an IV bag as fast as possible? Well, turns out there are numbers other than 10 on that pain scale. Also turns out that pain scale has a name. It's the Wong-Baker Universal Pain Scale and its intent is to actually be useful. Of course, it isn't, but we wanted to find a way it could be useful. So we replaced all of the faces with TV doctors to give you a guide for the amount of pain you're about to experience when in the, um, "care" of each of these sometimes certified physicians. Basically, just avoid Dr. Nick.--Ben Collins 0 - No Pain Shiva - "The League" The urologist with enchanting looks and a golden touch, Shiva is regarded by the members of The League as a human good-luck charm. Invoking Shiva's full name, Shivakomeni S ...
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Huffington Post article
Merle Haggard honored by Cal State Bakersfield
San Francisco Chronicle - over 3 years
Merle Haggard honored by Cal State Bakersfield BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — They call him "The Hag," but now Merle Haggard can answer to "doctor" as well. Haggard was presented an honorary doctorate Friday by California State University, Bakersfield. The doctor of fine arts honor was conferred during School of Arts & Humanities commencement ceremonies that also celebrated the late Buck Owens. The university does not bestow honorary doctorates posthumously, so Owens was instead awarded the President's Medal. The music of Haggard and Owens exemplifies country music's "Bakersfield Sound."
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Binky Philips: How a New York City Rock Kid Fell for George Jones and Tammy Wynette
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
"If we could, we'd all sing like George Jones" - Waylon Jennings Truth be told, it's been awhile since I just sat down and banged one of these here drivel-spews out. But... George Jones died Friday. I was 15. I'd been playing guitar for a whole 4 years. I knew Keith Richards was the greatest guitar player on the planet. I'd enjoyed Laugh-In as much as half the world did. That made me tune into Hee Haw its first season. Heck, why not! What I collided with head-on was a new musical reality. During the first two season, at least, Hee Haw's musical guests performed live backed by a live band. Compared to how bad some rock bands had sounded on the air, the sound quality and what I'd later know as 'the mix' was always dead perfect. But, two really important things shown through to this rock 'n' roll brat... "Nashville Cats" by The Lovin' Spoonful didn't even nick the surface of what country guitar players were doing. Don Rich, Buck Owens' head Buckaroo, simply ...
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Huffington Post article
Mike Ryan: Is 'The Last Stand' A Good Career Move For Arnold?
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to theaters this weekend with a movie titled The Last Stand. In this movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger fires a lot of guns and growls a few one-liners -- because this is what Arnold Schwarzenegger does. As a service to you, we answered ever questions that you could possible have about The Last Stand. Q: What is the last stand in The Last Stand? A: The last stand in question is the town of Sommerton Junction, Ariz. Q: Why is Sommerton Junction, Ariz. the last stand? A: It's the last town that stands in the way between an escaped criminal named Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) and his freedom in Mexico. That town has a sheriff by the name of Ray Owens. Q: Wasn't Ray Owens the co-host of He-Haw? A: You're thinking of Buck Owens. Q: Does Ray Owens have any chance of stopping Cortez before he gets to Mexico? A: Ray Owens is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, yes. Q: Is Ray Owens defending the town Sommerton Junction by himsel ...
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Huffington Post article
Buck, Elton, Whitney, JB, Dylan among Grammy Hall inductees
blank - over 4 years
The Recording Academy has announced its annual list of works to be entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and they include recordings by Big Mama Thornton, Buck Owens, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Richard Pryor, Whitney Houston and 22 others. As explained in the Academy's announcement, the honor is bestowed as a way of "highlighting diversity and recording excellence, and acknowledges both singles and album recordings of all genres at least 25 years old that exhibit qualitative or historical significance."
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blank article
Binky Philips: Binky's Revenge: My Own Damned Most Influential Guitarists List!
Huffington Post - over 4 years
I have long had a love/hate relationship with The Top 10 (20, 50, 100) All Time Guitarist lists. As in, I love to see how much hatred and rage they can generate in my arrogant pedantic know-it-all bile-soaked soul. It is absolutely guaranteed that at some point, a guy who doesn't belong within a fer-piece of any list will be ranked far above a Giant, and I'll want to tear the heads off the dolts who had the temerity to write/publish such tripe. So, in that spirit, I've decided to have my head torn off. I've been writing for Huffington Post since June of 2010 and it only occurred to me last week, Hey, I have a forum! I can make my own damn list. Oh, boy! Oh, boy! [Check my archive... I have plenty of posts about plenty of the guitarists mentioned in this one.] You are about to embark on a journey (sorry, no Neil Schon) into the mind of a Total Dick when it comes to the subject of (guitars and) guitar players. It's simple, really... I know more than you. Nyaaaah Nyaaah ...
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Huffington Post article
Red Meat develops raw country sound
San Francisco Chronicle - over 4 years
Red Meat develops raw country sound When the country band Red Meat came together in April 1993, they performed with punk bands, rock bands and whatever showcases would have them on the bill. Red Meat has worked hard over the years to bring awareness to country music in the Bay Area and is influencing a new generation of musicians embracing the Americana sound. Jill Olson, bass guitar, vocals; Dave "Smelley" Kelley, vocals; Les James, drums; Scott Young, guitar, vocals, fiddle, trombone; Michael Montalto, electric guitar. Bakersfield-based artists like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Wynn Stewart rebelled against that by creating a country sound that was much more stripped-down and raw - heavy on the Fender Telecaster, so the sound would cut through that single dashboard-mounted speaker in your car or truck. To be featured in Bay Area Bandwidth, you must have a confirmed gig coming up and a recording that readers can buy, download or listen to via a Web link. [. ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Gary Burr: Getting Used Center Stage After Playing Sideman To Roger Daltrey And Other Stars
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Singer/songwriters Kenny Loggins, Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman recently formed the new band Blue Sky Riders, and were profiled by Huff/Post50 earlier this year. They are finishing their first album and will be chronicling their experiences as a band in this blog. At one of our shows this summer I made a joke about this tour being the "45-Degree Angle Tour" because every time I looked out into the audience every head I saw was at a 45-degree angle to me. Everyone was looking at stage right, where Kenny was standing, to catch a sight of the Mr. Pop Legend. I saw a lot of left ears. Did that bother me? Not really. Most of my career has been devoted to being a sideman. I always liked being the guy who stands at one of the side mics and helps the star shine as brightly as they can. Now I am on stage as part of Blue Sky Riders and being one of those "stars" on stage is taking some getting used to. Being the child of the 60s, you would think that my idols growing up would b ...
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Huffington Post article
President Obama, Mitt Romney cameo on 2012 CMT Music Awards
LATimes - over 4 years
It may be hard to imagine President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney agreeing on anything, but apparently they’ve found common ground in country music. The rival presidential candidates have taped what’s described as “a comedic opening segment” for tonight’s 2012 CMT Music Awards show running at 8 p.m. on the country music cable channel. Obama has previously shown himself to be a capable crooner of the blues (he sang a snippet of “Sweet Home Chicago” during a recent salute to the blues at the White House) and silky R&B (a tidbit of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” at a fundraiser in Harlem earlier this year). Meanwhile, at a January campaign stop in Florida, Romney showed off his vocal skills on “America the Beautiful.” It’s not the first presidential presence at the CMT awards. During the 2008 election year, the three leading candidates -- Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain -- also delivered taped cameo appearances. Pop & Hiss isn’t expectin ...
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LATimes article
George Lindsey, TV's 'Goober Pyle,' Remembered At Funeral Service
The Guestlist - almost 5 years
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Actor George Lindsey was remembered Friday as the grinning Goober who made television viewers laugh for three decades on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Hee Haw." A public memorial service drew an estimated 400 people who paid last respects to Lindsey, 83, who died Sunday. He was the beanie-wearing Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1964 to 1968 and its successor, "Mayberry RFD," from 1968 to 1971. He played the same jovial character, a mechanic, on "Hee Haw" from 1971 until it went out of production in 1993. Reruns of those shows are still seen on TV. Griffith did not attend, but sent a statement that was read by country music broadcaster Keith Bilbrey at the service at Westminster Presbyterian Church. "George was a better joke teller than me, and I will say here that I `borrowed' jokes from George that he may have `borrowed' from Minnie Pearl," Griffith confessed. "George told me his fondest memories in show business were the years h ...
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The Guestlist article
SLIDESHOW: Vinyl fans turn out for Record Store Day
chl Chestnuthilllocal.com - almost 5 years
by Sue Ann Rybak Brian Reisman, who is the owner of Hideaway Records in Chestnut Hill, rings up Esther Rosen on Saturday afternoon. This year's Record Store Day was held on April 21. Music lovers flocked to Hideaway Music, 8612 Germantown Ave., to – in the words of Bob Seger – “take those old records (and new records) off the shelf” to celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21. Chris Brown, of Bull Moose, a chain of record stores in Maine and New Hampshire, dreamed up the idea for Record Store Day in 2007 as a “celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the U.S.A. and hundreds more around the world.” Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008, and Record Store Day is now celebrated on the third Saturday of April. Hideaway Music owner Brian Reisman said more than 250 artists were releasing a limited amount of songs on vinyl to promote Record Store Day. Some of ...
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chl Chestnuthilllocal.com article
Waylon Jennings' final studio recordings due in September
LATimes - almost 5 years
Country outlaw Waylon Jennings was working on a new batch of recordings right before he died 10 years ago, and those sessions are at the heart of a final studio collection to be released in September, “Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings." In the studio, he had been working with longtime bassist Robby Turner, but they had recorded only Jennings’ vocals and guitar, and Turner’s bass, with plans to flesh them out with additional instrumentation. Jennings died Feb. 13, 2002 at age 64 of diabetes. Recently Turner went back to those recordings and brought in former Jennings cohorts -- guitarist Reggie Young, drummer Richie Albright and singer, songwriter and Jennings’ former tourmate Tony Joe White -- to add the sounds Jennings and Turner originally discussed. Of the dozen songs on “Goin’ Down Rockin',” 11 were written by Jennings, the 12th song being White’s title track. The recordings, slated for release on Sept. 11, have never previously been available to t ...
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LATimes article
Aretha Franklin to Release New Album, 'Hunger Games' Soundtrack Dominates Billboard Chart
Voice of America - almost 5 years
Aretha Franklin Working on New Album Soul legend Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday on March 24.  At her birthday party in New York, she told the Associated Press that she’ll reunite with Clive Davis to begin work on a new album.  Franklin said they’ll sit down to discuss the direction of the album after Davis celebrates his 80th birthday on April 4.  Clive Davis guided Franklin’s comeback in the 1980s.  She was signed to his former label, Arista Records, which released the Number One R&B album Jump To It in 1982 and Franklin’s first million-selling collection, Who’s Zoomin’ Who, in 1985. 'Hunger Games' Soundtrack Tops Billboard Album Chart <!--IMAGE-LEFT--> The soundtrack to The Hunger Games debuts at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart.  Sales reached 175,000 copies its first week of release.  Billboard reports The Hunger Games is the first theatrical film soundtrack to enter at Number One since November 14, 2009, when the late Michael Jackson debuted in the ...
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Voice of America article
Quiz on country music, Level 2: Ring of fire
Oxford University Press Blog - almost 5 years
Let’s test your knowledge from honky tonk to hillbilly blues. Here’s the second of a three-part quiz on the twang of guitars and accents, compiled by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Michael McCall, John Rumble, and Paul Kingsbury — authors of The Encyclopedia of Country Music. You can still go back and take “Quiz on country media, Level 1: Walk the line.” All this is running up to the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is this Sunday, April 1st. Can you pass all three levels of our a country music knowledge challenge? What was Minnie Pearl’s real name? (a) Sandy Diamond (b) Judy Canova (c) Ophelia Acuff (d) Sarah Colley Which famous country singer popularized the song “Great Speckled Bird”? (a) Roy Acuff (b) Roy Drusky (c) Leroy Van Dyke (d) Uncle Dave Macon What radio show did Ernest Tubb begin broadcasting from his Nashville record store in 1947? (a) The Midnite Jamboree (b) E.T. Country (c) Tubb Thumping (d) The Troubadour Hour How is countr ...
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Oxford University Press Blog article
Quiz on country music, Level 1: Walk the line
Oxford University Press Blog - almost 5 years
The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards is this Sunday, April 1st, so we thought it was time to pull together a country music knowledge challenge. Compiled by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Michael McCall, John Rumble, and Paul Kingsbury — authors of The Encyclopedia of Country Music — we begin the first of a three-part quiz on the twang of guitars and accents today. How much do you know about the music of “three chords and the truth”? Which country artist is married to Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman? (a) Clint Black (b) Kenny Chesney (c) Brad Paisley (d) Keith Urban Which former Beatle had a hit duet with Buck Owens? (a) George Harrison (b) John Lennon (c) Paul McCartney (d) Ringo Starr Which country singer served two terms as governor of Louisiana? (a) Jimmie Davis (b) Doug Kershaw (c) Sammy Kershaw (d) Jimmy C. Newman What California town earned the nickname “Nashville West” during the 1960s? (a) Los Angeles (b) Bakersfield (c) San ...
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Oxford University Press Blog article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Buck Owens
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2006
    Age 76
    Buck Owens died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack on March 25, 2006, only hours after performing at his Crystal Palace restaurant, club and museum in Bakersfield.
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  • 2004
    Age 74
    He had successfully recovered from oral cancer in the early 1990s, but had additional health problems near the end of the 1990s and the early 2000s, including pneumonia and a minor stroke suffered in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details These health problems had forced him to curtail his regular weekly performances with the Buckaroos at his Crystal Palace. The Los Angeles Times interviewed longtime Owens spokesman (and Buckaroos keyboard player) Jim Shaw, who said Owens "had come to the club early and had a chicken fried steak dinner and bragged that it's his favorite meal." Afterward, Owens told band members that he wasn't feeling well and was going to skip that night's performance. Shaw said a group of fans introduced themselves while Owens was preparing to drive home; when they told him that they had traveled from Oregon to hear him perform, Owens changed his mind and took the stage anyway. Shaw recalled Owens telling the audience, "If somebody's come all that way, I'm gonna do the show and give it my best shot. I might groan and squeak, but I'll see what I can do." Shaw added, "So, he had his favorite meal, played a show and died in his sleep. We thought, that's not too bad."
    Initially, only two were made; one for Paisley himself and the other presented to Owens during a New Year's celebration that Paisley attended in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details Following the death of Rich, Owens' latter trademark was a red, white and blue acoustic guitar, along with a 1974 Pontiac convertible "Nudiemobile", adorned with pistols and silver dollars. A similar car, created by Nudie Cohn for Elvis Presley and later won by Owens in a bet, is now enshrined behind the bar at Owens' Crystal Palace Nightclub in Bakersfield. Owens would hand out replicas of his trademark acoustic guitar to friends, acquaintances and fans. Each would contain a gold plaque with the name of the recipient. Some of these guitars cost $1000 and up.
  • 2003
    Age 73
    In 2003, Paisley blended creative styles with this guitar and his own famous Paisley Telecaster, creating what became known as the Buck-O-Caster.
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    He was ranked No. 12 in CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details In addition, CMT also ranked the Buckaroos No. 2 in the network's 20 Greatest Bands in 2005. Long before Owens became the famous co-host of Hee Haw, his band became known for their signature Bakersfield sound, later emulated by artists such as Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley. Buck inspired indie country songwriter and friend Terry Fraley whose band "The Nudie Cowboys" with a similar sound. This sound was originally made possible with two trademark silver-sparkle Fender Telecaster guitars, often played simultaneously by Owens and longtime wing-man Don Rich; Fender had made a "Buck Owens signature Telecaster," and after his death paid tribute to him.
  • 1999
    Age 69
    In August 1999, Owens brought back together the remaining members of his original Buckaroo Band to help him celebrate his 70th birthday at Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield.
    More Details Hide Details All the original surviving Buckaroos were there: Owens, Doyle Holly, Tom Brumley, and Wille Cantu performed old hits from their heyday including "Tiger by the Tail" and "Act Naturally."
  • 1996
    Age 66
    Owens was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.
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  • 1995
    Age 65
    The bulk of his Capitol catalog was reissued on CD in 1995, 1997 and in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details Sometime in the 1970s, Owens had also purchased the remaining copies of his original LP albums from Capitol's distribution warehouses across the country. Many of those records (still in the shrinkwrap) were stored by Owens for decades. He often gave them away as gifts and sold them at his nightclub for a premium price some 35 years later.
  • 1990
    Age 60
    His albums had been out of print for nearly 15 years, when he released a retrospective box set in 1990.
    More Details Hide Details Encouraged by brisk sales, Owens struck a distribution deal with Sundazed Records of New York, which specializes in reissuing obscure recordings.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1988
    Age 58
    Dwight Yoakam was largely influenced by Owens' style of music and eventually teamed up with him for a duet of "Streets of Bakersfield" in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details Their duet was Owens' first No. 1 single in 16 years. In an interview, Yoakam described the first time he met with Owens: We sat there that day in 1987 and talked about my music to that point, my short career, and what I'd been doing and how he'd been watching me. I was really flattered and thrilled to know that this legend had been keeping an eye on me. Owens also collaborated with Cledus T. Judd in the song "The First Redneck On The Internet" in 1998, in which Owens also appears in the music video. The 1990s saw a flood of reissues of his Capitol recordings on compact disc. In 1974, Owens had bought back publishing rights to all of his Capitol recordings, as part of his final contract with the label.
  • 1986
    Age 56
    He left Hee Haw in 1986.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1979
    Age 49
    His fourth marriage, in 1979, was to Jennifer Smith.
    More Details Hide Details Owens had three sons: Buddy Alan (who charted several hits as a Capitol recording artist in the early 1970s and appeared with his father numerous times on Hee Haw), Johnny, and Michael Owens. In November 2013, Buck Owens' posthumous autobiography, "Buck 'Em! The Autobiography of Buck Owens" by Buck Owens with Randy Poe, was released. The book has a foreword by Brad Paisley and a preface by Dwight Yoakam. In her 2010 book, Buck Owens: The Biography, investigative journalist Eileen Sisk offers a critical account of Owens and the shortcomings in his private life. In her 2007 authorized biography, Buck, historian Kathryn Burke gives a positive account of Owens.
  • 1977
    Age 47
    His third marriage, in 1977, was to fiddle player Jana Jae Greif, who was a member of the Buckaroos.
    More Details Hide Details They were married for only a few days before he filed for annulment.
  • 1974
    Age 44
    On July 17, 1974, Owens' best friend and Buckaroos guitarist Don Rich was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a guard rail on Highway 1 in Morro Bay, where he was to have joined his family for vacation.
    More Details Hide Details Owens was devastated. "He was like a brother, a son and a best friend," he said in the late 1990s. "Something I never said before, maybe I couldn't, but I think my music life ended when he did. Oh yeah, I carried on and I existed, but the real joy and love, the real lightning and thunder is gone forever." Owens would never fully recover from the tragedy, neither emotionally nor professionally. Before the 1960s were done, Owens - with the help of manager Jack McFadden - began to concentrate on his financial future. He bought several radio stations, including KNIX-AM (later KCWW) and KNIX-FM in Phoenix and KUZZ-FM in Bakersfield. During the 1990s, Owens was co-owner of the country music network Real Country, which Owens owned station KCWW was the flagship station of. In 1998, Owens sold KCWW to ABC/Disney for $8,850,000 and sold KNIX-FM to Clear Channel Communications, but he maintained ownership of KUZZ until his death.
  • 1972
    Age 42
    Owens' original release of "Streets of Bakersfield" was released in 1972.
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    In 1972, Owens and the Buckaroos finally had another No. 1 hit, "Made in Japan", after three years of not having a number one song.
    More Details Hide Details In April, he added pedal steel guitarist, Jerry Brightman. The band had been without pedal steel since late in 1969 when Maness departed, and Owens returned to his grass roots sound of fiddle, steel, and electric guitars releasing a string of singles including "Arms Full of Empty", "Ain't it Amazing Gracie" and "Ain't Gonna Have Ole Buck (to Kick Around no More)".
  • 1970
    Age 40
    His departure was a setback to the band, as Doyle had received the Bass Player of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music the year before in 1970 and served as co-lead vocalist (along with Don Rich) of the Buckaroos.
    More Details Hide Details Holly went on to record two solo records in the early 1970s, both were top 20 hits. Holly has subsequently been honored in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and with a block in the Walkway of Stars at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Owens and Rich were the only original members left of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, and in the 1970s they struggled to top the country music charts. However, the popularity of Hee Haw was allowing them to enjoy large crowds at indoor arenas.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1968
    Age 38
    Also between 1968-70, Owens made guest appearances on top TV variety programs including The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Jackie Gleason Show and seven times on The Jimmy Dean Show.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1970s, Owens and the Buckaroos enjoyed a string of hit duets with his protege Susan Raye, who subsequently became a popular solo artist with recordings produced by Owens. In 1971, the Buckaroos' bass guitarist Doyle Holly left the band to pursue a solo career. Holly was known for his solo ballads with his trademark booming deep voice on Buck Owens and the Buckaroos albums.
    In 1968 Owens and the Buckaroos performed for President Lyndon Baines Johnson at the White House, which was later released as a live album.
    More Details Hide Details Between 1968 - 1969, pedal steel guitar player Tom Brumley and drummer Willie Cantu left the band and drummer Jerry Wiggins and pedal steel guitar player Jay Dee Maness were added. Owens and the Buckaroos had two songs reach No. 1 on the country music charts in 1969, "Tall Dark Stranger" and "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass". In 1969, they recorded a live album, Live in London, where they premiered their rock song "A Happening In London Town" and their version of Chuck Berry's song "Johnny B. Goode". During this time Hee Haw, starring Owens and the Buckaroos, was at its height of popularity. The series, originally envisioned as country music's answer to Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, outlived that show and ran for 231 episodes over 24 seasons.
  • 1967
    Age 37
    In 1967, Owens and the Buckaroos toured Japan, a then-rare occurrence for a country musician.
    More Details Hide Details The subsequent live album, appropriately named Buck Owens and His Buckaroos in Japan, was an early example of country music recorded outside the US.
  • 1966
    Age 36
    The 1966 album Carnegie Hall Concert was a smash hit and further cemented Buck Owens and the Buckaroos as more than just another honky tonk country band.
    More Details Hide Details They achieved crossover success on to the pop charts. During that year, R&B singer Ray Charles released cover versions of two of Owens' songs that became pop hits: "Crying Time" and "Together Again".
  • 1963
    Age 33
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1961
    Age 31
    In 1961, his top 10-charting duets with Rose Maddox earned them awards as vocal team of the year.
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  • 1960
    Age 30
    Owens tried to convince Rich to go with him to Bakersfield, but to no avail. Rich opted to go to Centralia College so that he could become a music teacher while tutoring and playing local venues, but after a year of college, he decided to drop out and join Owens in Bakersfield in December 1960.
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    Owens was named the Most Promising Country and Western Singer of 1960 by Billboard.
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    On April 2, 1960 he performed the song on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1960s, the countrypolitan sound was popular, with smooth, string-laden, pop-influenced styles used by Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, and Patsy Cline, among others. Owens went against the trend, using honky tonk hillbilly feel, mixed idiosyncratically with the Mexican polkas he had heard on border radio stations while growing up.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1959
    Age 29
    Owens' career took off in 1959, when his song "Second Fiddle" hit No. 24 on the Billboard country chart.
    More Details Hide Details Soon after, "Under Your Spell Again" made it to No. 4 on the charts and Capitol Records wanted Owens to return to Bakersfield, California.
  • 1958
    Age 28
    In 1958, Owens met Don Rich in Steve's Gay 90's restaurant in South Tacoma, Washington.
    More Details Hide Details Owens had observed one of Rich's shows, and immediately went to speak with him. Rich started to play fiddle with Owens at local venues. They were featured on the weekly BAR-K Jamboree on KTNT-TV 11.
  • 1956
    Age 26
    He later married Phyllis Buford in 1956, with whom he had a third son.
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  • 1951
    Age 21
    He was impressed by Bakersfield, where he and his wife settled in 1951.
    More Details Hide Details Soon, Owens was frequently traveling to Hollywood for session recording jobs at Capitol Records, playing backup for Tennessee Ernie Ford, Wanda Jackson, Tommy Collins, Tommy Duncan, Sonny James, Del Reeves, Tommy Sands, Faron Young and Gene Vincent, and many others. Owens recorded a rockabilly record called "Hot Dog" for the Pep label, using the pseudonym Corky Jones because he did not want the fact he recorded a rock n' roll tune to hurt his country music career. Sometime in the 1950s, he lived with his second wife and children in Fife, Washington, where he sang with the Dusty Rhodes band.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1948
    Age 18
    Owens was married four times, three ending in divorce and one in annulment. He and his first wife, country singer Bonnie Campbell Owens, were married in 1948 and had two sons. They separated in 1951 and later divorced.
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  • 1945
    Age 15
    Owens co-hosted a radio show called Buck and Britt in 1945.
    More Details Hide Details In the late 1940s he became a truck driver and drove through the San Joaquin Valley of California.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1937
    Age 7
    His family moved to Mesa, Arizona, in 1937 during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
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  • 1929
    Born
    Born on August 12, 1929.
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