Buck Owens, grew up poor, developed a signature sound, hit the pass with the buckaroos, went down with the Hee Haw (2023)

Between 1963 and 1967, American singer-songwriter Buck Owens (1929–2006) achieved 14 consecutive chart-topping records.billboardcountry music charts Owen's distinctive stripped-down, up-tempo sound helped usher in the era of cutting-edge country music, nicknamed the "Bakersfield Sound" for its origins in the honky-tonks of Bakersfield, California. The style had a far-reaching influence on country music for decades to come..

Fellow musician Marty Stuart described the attraction to popular American country music star Buck Owens and told Darrin Foh about it.guitar playerthat Owens' musical style "was made to cut through a loud, smoky club on a Saturday night and go straight to people's hearts." Although Owens scored 21 chart-topping singles (of which he co-wrote 15), Owens lost his status among country music's elite after he became co-host of the television variety musical comedy show.Hi Jajain 1969. While appearing on the show, Owens also appeared in comedy skits, wearing overalls and telling corny jokes, thus perpetuating the redneck stereotype. WeatherHi Jajait made Owens a household name, damaged his reputation as a serious country musician, and spent the rest of his life regaining his 1960s stature.

grew up in poverty

Owens was born on August 12, 1929 in Sherman, Texas, the son of Alvis Edgar Owens, Sr. and Maicie Azel Ellington Owens. Born two months before the stock market crash that preceded the Great Depression, he had an extraordinary childhood. due to economic difficulties. Owens' first name was Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr., but around the age of three he adopted the nickname "Buck" after his family mule. Alvis Owens, Sr. worked as a renter and the family moved frequently while he looked for work to support his wife and their four children. Maicie Owens introduced her son to music at an early age by taking him to church. As a pianist, he spent Sundays playing gospel music while Little Buck sat nearby.

In 1937, the Owens family headed west in hopes of escaping the drought and dust storms that now plagued the Great Plains region of the United States, including the farms and ranches of Texas. The family settled in Mesa, Arizona after a trailer hitch broke there. To support the family, Buck worked in the cotton and corn fields before and after school. He also traveled to California with his family several months a year, going from farm to farm picking fruits and vegetables as they ripened.

Buck Owens, grew up poor, developed a signature sound, hit the pass with the buckaroos, went down with the Hee Haw (1)

(Video) Buck Owens & Don Rich - Telecaster Troubadours - Ask Zac 71

Granamour Weems Collection/Alamy Stock Photos and Images

Although his farm work took Owens out of school, it laid the foundation for his future career as immigrant labor camps filled with music. During the day, African-American and Spanish-speaking workers sang in the fields to pass the time, and at night the men gathered with their violins and mandolins. Intrigued, Owens asked his parents for a mandolin and was given it in 1942.

After dropping out of school in the ninth grade, Owens worked at a citrus stand and skating rink, and delivered Western Union telegrams by bicycle. In his spare time he honed his skills on the mandolin and guitar. He was soon hanging out with bands, playing for free at whatever honkytonk would let him in. In his teens, Owens befriended a musician named Theryl Ray Britten, and the pair landed a radio show on KTYL in Mesa. The Buck and BrittShow featured Owens on mandolin while Britt covered guitar and vocals. It was around this time that he acquired a steel guitar and added his sound to the mix.

At 18, Owens was married with a child on the way. He met his future wife, Bonnie Campbell, at the skating rink where he worked. His first child, Buddy, was born in 1948, followed by Michael in 1950. By the late 1940s, Owens was spending his nights playing music and his days transporting goods to the San Joaquin Valley, making frequent trips through Bakersfield. . In 1951 he moved to Bakersfield with his family and two years later he and Bonnie divorced. In 1955, Owens married Phyllis Buford, with whom he had a son, Johnny, born in 1956, before divorcing in 1971. He was married to Jana Grief in the 1970s but divorced in 1979. That year he married Jennifer Smith, and that marriage ended in 2001. According to Eileen Sisk in Buck Owens: The Biography, the musician also had a daughter from a marriage that took place when he was 16, but he has never publicly acknowledged the relationship. .

Characteristic designed sound

Meanwhile, newly arrived in Bakersfield, Owens landed a spot in the house band at Blackboard, a popular honky-tonk venue. At first he played backing guitar, but soon began doing vocals. In his autobiography Buck 'Em! Owens recalled developing his singing style while performing at Blackboard, which lacked proper sound equipment to provide feedback to stage performers. "Since Blackboard had no monitors, I'm pretty sure that's why I developed my heavy-sounding vocal style," he explained. "I was trying so hard to listen to myself that I was always singing really loud."

With growing confidence, Owens formed his own band, the Schoolhouse Playboys, in the early 1950s. The group performed in dance halls and bars in Bakersfield and these performances helped him develop his idiosyncratic style. Owens knew the audience wanted to dance, so he played with a lot of energy to keep them happy and moving. As his reputation as a guitarist spread, he was invited to Los Angeles to work as a session musician for Capitol Records and added his Fender Telecaster accent to songs recorded by Tommy Collins, Del Reeves and Gene Vincent.

In 1956 Owens began recording his own songs. After several releases, he finally made his breakthrough in 1959 with "Under Your Spell Again", which stayed on the country charts for over five months and peaked at number four. In 1961, Owens toured as the opening act for country music star Johnny Cash and gained further notoriety. In the same year he reached number two on the charts with two songs. By the early 1960s, Nashville was churning out pop-inspired country songs filled with soaring strings and backing vocals. Owens offered something different: rockabilly style, sparse arrangements, and raucous harmonies. Pedal Steel and his electric Fender Telecaster gave his music a stripped-down tone that stuck and became known as the "Bakersfield Sound."

(Video) Watch the full, on-camera shouting match between Trump, Pelosi and Schumer | The Washington Post

Stride Robe with Buckaroos

In the early 1960s, Owens began assembling a backing band to accompany him on stage. Known as the Buckaroos, the band's early lineup was fluid. Merle Haggard played bass for a time, but by 1963 the band's sound was enriched by the talents of fiddler/guitarist Don Rich, steel guitarist Jay McDonald, bassist Kenny Pierce, and drummer Ken Presley.

In the mid-1960s, the Buckaroos' lineup changed again. Rich stayed on and was joined by bassist Doyle Holly, steel guitarist Tom Brumley, and drummer Willie Cantu. This classic lineup of buckaroos helped Owens solidify his sound. He recruited Rich as an additional vocalist and occasional songwriter, and the violinist/guitarist played an important role in keeping Owens' career afloat. The Buckaroos recorded dozens of albums, and their support reached No. 1 in 1964 with "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail" and "I Don't Care (Just as You Love Me)."

Although the buckaroos played with Owens, they also played and recorded independently of him, creating tension. In 1965, the Buckaroos scored a number-one instrumental hit with "Buckaroo," often cited as one of the greatest country numbers of all time for its dueling guitar riffs between Owens and Rich. The Buckaroos also received Academy of Country Music Awards for Band of the Year from 1965 to 1968. They also won Country Music Association Instrumental Group of the Year awards in 1967 and 1968.

Buckaroos were very popular - they were not only talented musicians, but also great performers who managed to attract the attention of the crowd. Owens and the Buckaroos played New York's Carnegie Hall in 1966, only the second country band to take the stage there. The performance was recorded and a live album was released, cementing their position as one of the most successful country bands of the day. As Buckaroo steel guitarist Brumley saidold guitarby collaborator Rich Kienzle, the Carnegie Hall record was truly a live album. "There was no correction on the whole album and I don't think there was a mistake. We were used to that, which was fine with us and it made us pick up the stick. It was a habit: go to the studio, play something and do it right.

Owens and the Buckaroos continued to produce singles throughout the late 1960s, scoring number one hits in 1969 with "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass" and "Tall Dark Stranger". By this time, loyalty within the buckaroos had become shaky. Owens gained a reputation for being difficult to handle and reportedly suffered from mood swings. Brumley is gone, as is Cantu. Holly left the company in 1971 to pursue a solo career. Three years later, Rich was killed in a motorcycle accident, and the buckaroos lost their reputation.

Suffered a fallHi Jaja

In 1969, Owens began hosting television shows.Hi Jaja🇧🇷 The variety show featured Owens' music and plenty of cornpone humor, with Owens playing a throwback jerk alongside his banjo co-host, Roy Clark. The show took place in the fictional "Kornfield Kounty" against a backdrop of cornfields, hay bales and ramshackle shacks.Hi JajaIt was an instant ratings winner: After being dropped by CBS after just two seasons, it was picked up and ran in syndication through its 1990s heyday, playing to 15 million homes a week. As the show expanded Owens' popularity beyond the world of country music, most of his new fans saw him as a comedian rather than a musician.

For Owens, who has spent most of his life campaigning for road shows,Hi Jajaprovided security and didn't take long. Taping took place twice a year, in Nashville, with 13 episodes filmed in June and October. however he leftHi Jajain 1986, frustrated that it had outshone his musical legacy. share your regrets with meWashington PostAuthor Richard Harrington, Owens, recalled losing interest in the show when he was asked to do more comedy than music. "I was paid a lot of money to do this show, so I looked away, blinked, and said, 'Well, I don't have to stay in a lonely little hotel room tonight.'" the money and run.'”

(Video) Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis (Official Music Video)

He worked to become famous again

In the 1980s, Owens mentored a new generation of country musicians who moved the genre away from pop and back to its roots. She became interested in Dwight Yoakam and joined him onstage for a performance at a fair near Bakersfield in 1987. The pair subsequently collaborated on the recording of "Streets of Bakersfield" and took it to number one on the charts. .billboardcountry music charts in 1988. Owens had not topped the charts since 1972 with "Made in Japan." Now back in the spotlight, she received the 1989 Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award.

In 1996, the Owens Crystal Palace, a concert venue in Bakersfield, opened. Designed to take country music to the next level, Crystal Palace offers a sophisticated venue far from the smoky bars of your youth. Willie Nelson, George Jones, Clint Black, and the Dixie Chicks also performed there. Owens also attended the Crystal Palace stage and even performed on the eve of his death.

On March 24, 2006, Owens arrived at Crystal Palace around 4 p.m. m. to prepare a show. He wasn't feeling well and was about to leave when he heard that a group of fans from Oregon had made the long drive south just to watch him play. He stayed and did the show, which ended with Big in Vegas. Owens then went home and died of a heart attack in his sleep around 3:30 the next morning.


Owens, Buck, con Randy Poe,hit her! Buck Owen Autobiography, Backbeat Books, 2013.

sister Eileen,Buck Owens: A Biography, Chicago Review Press, 2010.


guitar player, julio de 2006, Darrin Foh, „Riffs Tribute: Buck Owens“, S. 36–37.

old guitar, mayo de 2007, Rich Kienzle, "Buck Owens and The Buckaroos: 'A Bunch of Twangy Guitars'".

Washington Post, 13 de agosto de 1989, Richard Harrington, „The Basics and Buck Owens.“□

(Video) "WW Marry Up, While BW's Marry Down." Is This True?

(MLA 8ºedition)


When did Buck Owens join the Hee Haw? ›

From 1969 to 1986, Owens co-hosted the popular CBS television variety show Hee Haw with Roy Clark (syndicated beginning in 1971).

Who sang with Buck Owens on Hee Haw? ›

Buck Owens and Roy Clark on Hee Haw.

Where did Buck Owens grow up? ›

Owens grew up on a farm near Sherman, Texas, near the Oklahoma border. He was only three when he adopted the nickname “Buck,” the same name as the family's mule. The Owens family had always been musical, and Buck's mother played the piano and taught her children to sing gospel songs.

How old was Buck Owens when he passed away? ›

Legendary country singer and original "Rhinestone Cowboy" Buck Owens, known to millions of fans as host of "Hee Haw," died March 25 at his home in Bakersfield, Calif. He was 76.

Which came first Hee Haw or laugh in? ›

“Hee Haw,” a show which seemed uniquely American, was dreamed up by Canadians John Aylesworth and Frank Peppiatt. They were inspired to co-create “Hee Haw” after “Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In” became must-see TV in the 1960s. “Laugh-In” debuted at No.

Was Buck Owens a good guitar player? ›

Buck Owens is best known for his work in country music, but he was also a skilled acoustic guitar player. His style was unique, and he was able to create a sound that was both country and western. He was a master of the Telecaster, and his playing was a major influence on the sound of country music.

Who sounds like Buck Owens? ›

Similar To
  • Dwight Yoakam.
  • George Jones.
  • Merle Haggard.
  • Jim Reeves.
  • Johnny Cash.
  • Lefty Frizzell.
  • Marty Robbins.
  • Marty Stuart.

What guitar did Don Rich play? ›

Musical equipment. Don Rich used primarily Fender guitars and amplifiers. In the early days, Rich played Owens' 1951 Fender Telecaster through a Fender Bassman amplifier. In 1964, Fender gave Owens an endorsement deal and the band gained instruments.

How did Buck Owens get on Hee Haw? ›

In the spring of 1969 two highly respected television producers, Frank Peppiatt and John Aylesworth, in need of a solid country music performer, asked Buck to join the cast of their new CBS country music/comedy show, HEE HAW. Buck agreed to come on board as the co-host, and he brought the Buckaroos with him.

Did Buck Owens like the Beatles? ›

Buck and his right-hand man Don Rich were fans of the Beatles' early music, even before the Liverpool group covered Act Naturally. The pair had every Beatles album, and onstage did a good-natured imitation of the Liverpool accent.

How long was Buck Owens on Hee Haw? ›

He was on “Hee Haw” for 17 years. It opened doors for new country performers, but it closed doors for Buck Owens. Rich and famous as “Hee Haw” made Buck Owens, it all but killed his music.

What was Buck Owens known for? ›

Country Music Hall of Fame member Buck Owens helped shape the sound of country music. The long string of chart-topping Buck Owens songs epitomizes the Bakersfield sound, providing a stand-in to the flourishing, string-heavy sound that once heavily influenced Nashville.

When did Buck Owens Release Act Naturally? ›

March 11, 1963

What was Buck Owens first hit? ›

"Act Naturally"

The song, which is about an aspiring movie star doing a version of method acting, became an instant hit. It was Owens' first song to hit the top of the country chart, and it almost instantly transformed him into a bona fide country music superstar.

How many number one hits did Buck Owens have? ›

Buck Owens is a country music icon. As one of the best-selling artists of the 1960s, he accumulated numerous Top 10 hits with 19 of them reaching the #1 top spot on the charts.

Who owns the rights to Hee Haw? ›

Hee Haw
Running time44 minutes
Production companiesYongestreet Productions Gaylord Entertainment
DistributorYongestreet Productions (1971–1982) Gaylord Program Services (1982–1993)
15 more rows

Why was Hee Haw cancelled? ›

CBS officials canceled Hee Haw, along with other country-themed shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies, Mayberry R.F.D., and Green Acres, to make room for shows that would appeal to seemingly more sophisticated urban and suburban audiences. From 1971 to 1991, Hee Haw enjoyed a generation of success in syndication.

When did laugh in start? ›

Who is considered the best guitar player? ›

The best guitarists in history:
  • Jimi Hendrix.
  • Eric Clapton.
  • Jeff Beck.
  • Chuck Berry.
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan.
  • Joe Satriani.
  • Steve Vai.
  • Yngwie Malmsteen.

Who was the greatest steel guitarist of all time? ›

RIP Ralph Mooney – The Best Steel Guitar Player Ever.

Who was the best metal guitarist? ›

20 Of The Very Best Metal Guitarists
  • Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) ...
  • Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) ...
  • Herman Li (DragonForce) ...
  • Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell) ...
  • Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders) ...
  • Muhammed Suimez (Necrophagist) ...
  • Misha "Bulb" Mansoor (Periphery) ...
  • Chuck Schuldiner (Death)
Sep 7, 2020

What sound calls in Bucks? ›

The most common sound for a buck is the social grunt. This is a call that bucks will make by grunting. It is nothing loud or exciting, instead it is a sound that is used to communicate with other deer.

What vocal sounds do deer make? ›

Deer vocalization as it pertains to hunting can mostly be broken into three categories. They are the snort, the grunt, and the bleat. Most sounds made by a whitetail are variations or combinations of these three sounds. Some sounds hunters do not ever want to hear.

What sound do Bucks make? ›

Bucks make a loud grunting sound to show their dominance. While all deer make soft, long grunts to call to one another, the deep, short grunt of the buck is the male claiming the territory and does in it as his own.

Can Lil Wayne play the guitar? ›

Lil Wayne discussed how he decided to learn to play guitar during a recent interview with Rolling Stone. He first picked up the instrument before filming the video for “Leather So Soft,” from his and Birdman's 2006 album Like Father, Like Son. “I learned how to play it.

What guitar does Johnny Depp play? ›

Johnny Depp does not have to play Mike Campbell's signature Duesenberg anymore. He has his own Duesenberg signature model. It is a chambered body, single trapezoid shape single coil pickup, with an aluminium top plate which is engraved with tattoos from Depp's body.

What guitar does Pink Floyd? ›

The Black Strat is the nickname for a black Fender Stratocaster guitar played by David Gilmour of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd.
The Black Strat.
Fender Stratocaster "David Gilmour"
BridgeStandard Fender Synchronized
9 more rows

Is Buck Owens related to Dolly Parton? ›

Country songwriter Bill Owens, who was a mentor and early songwriting partner to his niece Dolly Parton and helped start her career in country music, has died. He was 85.

What happened to Buck Owens guitar? ›

The Buck Owens guitar rests in its display at the U.S. post office on Minner Avenue. It was reported stolen in December. Buck Owens' signature guitar that was stolen from the Oildale Post Office was returned to its rightful place.

Who was the biggest womanizer in The Beatles? ›

He was affectionately known as 'the quiet Beatle'. But George Harrison was in fact a womaniser, whose love of the opposite sex almost ruined his 23-year-marriage, a new documentary has revealed.

Who is the most likable Beatle? ›

Paul McCartney is Americans' favorite Beatle; John Lennon is Americans' least favorite. Note: Only asked of people who said they loved or liked at least one Beatle.

Who is the favorite Beatle? ›

FIRST PLACE: Paul McCartney

Most respondents talked about his musical and songwriting ability, and said that they thought his solo work was the best.

What was Buck Owens last song? ›

Here are some Buck Owens tunes you might remember. By the way Big in Vegas was the last song that Buck performed on stage March 23 2006.

How many Hee Haw episodes were there? ›

585 Hee Haw episodes were made, it ran weekly for many years.

What kind of music did Buck Owens play? ›

Buck Owens is a true legend in country music. Along with fellow performers Merle Haggard and Wynn Stewart, Buck helped popularize the Bakersfield Sound, or honky-tonk infused with electric instrumentation and rock influences.

Is Act Naturally an oxymoron? ›

Act naturally

This oxymoron works because often people have to work hard – against their desires – to just be themselves in certain company or in certain situations. “When you meet your new boss, just act naturally.”

Who wrote the Buck Owens hit Act Naturally? ›

Act Naturally

Did the Beatles record Act Naturally? ›

The Beatles recorded 'Act Naturally' on 17 June 1965. They recorded it in 13 takes – the first 12 were essentially rehearsals, with Starr's vocals making their first and only appearance on the final attempt. The arrangement was simple, and varied only slightly from the original.

What was Buck Owens number one song? ›

Think of Me” On May 2, 1966, Owens released his single “Think of Me.” It climbed up to No. 1 and stayed there for six weeks. Songwriters Don Rich, Estella Olson, and Ken Nelson owned the credits for the song's composition.

Is Buck Owens in the Hall of Fame? ›

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

Who has the greatest hit of all time? ›

According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.

Who has the most number one hit records? ›

Mariah Carey (USA) has topped the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on 19 different occasions.

Who has the most number one hits in hip hop history? ›


Drake has tallied 11 No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 in his career, the most among rappers. Among all artists, though, he's tied with Whitney Houston for the seventh-most, after The Beatles (20), Mariah Carey (19), Rihanna (14), Michael Jackson (13), The Supremes and Madonna (12 each).

Who started in Hee Haw? ›

Country music stars Roy Clark and Buck Owens hosted Hee Haw. Generally, Clark was in charge of the comedy sections while Owens handled the musical segments. The typical show would include musical segments interspersed with comedic sketches and took place in fictional Kornfield Kounty.

Did John Denver ever appear on Hee Haw? ›

John Denver / Hee Haw [02/25/1989] (Rare!!)

Did Buck Owens influence the Beatles? ›

On February 12, 1963, the Texan hitmaker recorded the signature track that became his first No. 1 and attracted the attention of The Beatles.

Where was Hee Haw supposed to be? ›

Filmed in Nashville but set in fictional "Kornfield Kounty," "Hee Haw" featured knee-slapping comedy skits and live country music performances — not to mention the scantily clad Hee Haw Honeys.

Who were the two main characters on Hee Haw? ›

Hosted by country music artists Buck Owens and Roy Clark for most of its run, the show was equally well known for its corn pone humor as for its voluptuous, scantily clad women (the "Hee Haw Honeys") in stereotypical farmer's daughter outfits. Hee Haw's appeal, however, was not limited to a rural audience.

What were the names of the Hee Haw Honeys? ›

Many of the comedy bits took place in the “Kornfield.” The Hee Haw Honeys included Hallman, Goodman, Linda Thompson (who would marry Bruce Jenner), Gunilla Hutton, Barbi Benton, Misty Rowe and Lulu Roman, among others. Hallman has fond memories of her time on “Hee Haw,” which lasted until 1990.

What caused John Denver to crash? ›

Denver was flying a homemade plane, practicing landings and takeoffs, at the Monterey Regional Airport. He was just offshore when the plane ran out of fuel. The National Transportation Safety Board reports that he turned in his seat to find the fuel selector valve, causing him to apply the right rudder accidentally.

Was John Denver Religious? ›

According to Religion Facts, a site that chronicles celebrities' religious beliefs, John Denver was a follower of EST (Erhard Seminars Training).

Did Dwight Yoakam appear on Hee Haw? ›

Dwight Yoakam performs "Guitars , Cadillacs" Rare video on Hee Haw 1986.


1. Understanding The Immigrant Song
2. 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: An Evening of Celebration
(Western Folklife Center)
3. Down and Dirty by Kendall Ryan Sports | Romance Audiobooks
(Romance Audiobooks )
4. Down and Dirty by Kendall Ryan - Sports Romance Audiobook
(Gerda Paucek)
5. Iowa Caucus Live Updates | CBSN
(CBS News)
6. My Entire Pokemon Region!


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated: 09/08/2023

Views: 5907

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.