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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/25/2006 12:31:05 PM EDT
'Hee Haw' co-host Buck Owens, 76, dies
GREG RISLING
Associated Press
Mar. 25, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Singer Buck Owens, the flashy rhinestone cowboy who shaped the sound of country music with hits like "Act Naturally" and brought the genre to TV on the long-running "Hee Haw," died Saturday. He was 76.

Owens died at his home, said family spokesman Jim Shaw. The cause of death was not immediately known. Owens had undergone throat cancer surgery in 1993 and was hospitalized with pneumonia in 1997.

His career was one of the most phenomenal in country music, with a string of more than 20 No. 1 records, most released from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

They were recorded with a honky-tonk twang that came to be known throughout California as the "Bakersfield Sound," named for the town 100 miles north of Los Angeles that Owens called home.

"I think the reason he was so well known and respected by a younger generation of country musicians was because he was an innovator and rebel," said Shaw, who played keyboards in Owens' band, the Buckaroos. "He did it out of the Nashville establishment. He had a raw edge."

Owens was modest when describing his aspirations.

"I'd like to be remembered as a guy that came along and did his music, did his best and showed up on time, clean and ready to do the job, wrote a few songs and had a hell of a time," he said in 1992.

An indefatigable performer, Owens played a red, white and blue guitar with fireball fervor. He and the Buckaroos wore flashy rhinestone suits in an era when flash was as important to country music as fiddles.

Among his biggest hits were "Together Again" (also recorded by Emmylous Harris), "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," "Love's Gonna Live Here," "My Heart Skips a Beat" and "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line."

And he was the answer to this music trivia question: What country star had a hit record that was later done by the Beatles?

"Those guys were phenomenal," Owens once said.

Ringo Starr recorded "Act Naturally" twice, singing lead on the Beatles' 1965 version and recording it as a duet with Owens in 1989.

In addition to music, Owens had a highly visible TV career as co-host of "Hee Haw" from 1969 to 1986. With guitarist Roy Clark, he led viewers through a potpourri of country music and hayseed humor.

"It's an honest show," Owens told The Associated Press in 1995. "There's no social message - no crusade. It's fun and simple."

Owens himself could be rebellious, choosing among other things to label what he did "American music" rather than country.

"I took a little heat," he once said. "People asked me, `Isn't country music good enough for you?' "

He also criticized the syrupy arrangements of some country singers, saying "assembly-line, robot music turns me off."

After his string of hits, Owens stayed away from the recording scene for a decade, returning in 1988 to record another No. 1 record, "Streets of Bakersfield," with Dwight Yoakam.

He spent much of his time away concentrating on his business interests, which included a Bakersfield TV station and radio stations in Bakersfield and Phoenix.

"I never wanted to hang around like the punch-drunk fighter," he told The Associated Press in 1992.

He had moved to Bakersfield in 1951, hoping to find work in the thriving juke joints of what in the years before suburban sprawl was a truck-stop town on Highway 99, between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.

"We played rhumbas and tangos and sambas, and we played Bob Wills music, lots of Bob Wills music," he said, referring to the bandleader who was the king of Western swing.

"And lots of rock 'n' roll," he added.

Owens started recording in the mid-1950s, but gained little success until 1963 with "Act Naturally," his first No. 1 single.

Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. was born in 1929 outside Sherman, Texas, the son of a sharecropper. With opportunities scarce during the Depression, the family moved to Arizona when he was 8.

He dropped out of school at age 13 to haul produce and harvest crops, and by 16 he was playing music in taverns.

He once told an audience, "When I was a little bitty kid, I used to dream about playing the guitar and singing like some of those great people that we had the old, thick records of."

Owens' first wife, Bonnie Owens, sometimes performed with him and went on to become a leading backup singer after their divorce in 1955. She had occasional solo hits in the '60s, as well as successful duets with her second husband, Merle Haggard.

One of her two sons with Owens also became a singer, using the name Buddy Alan. He had a Top 10 hit in 1968, "Let the World Keep on a-Turnin'," and recorded a number of duets with his father.

In addition to Buddy, he is survived by two other sons, Michael and John.

ON THE NET

http://www.buckowens.com


www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/news/nation/14186335.htm
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 12:32:40 PM EDT
One of my favorites.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 12:38:05 PM EDT
I always liked Buck Owens. He really was one of the guys who pioneered "honky-tonk" music. Rest in peace Buck.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 12:38:11 PM EDT
I remember watching Hee-Haw as a kid in the late 60s.

He and Roy Clark were quite the performers. They made country music listenable to us city slickers.

RIP
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 12:48:57 PM EDT

"I'd like to be remembered as a guy that came along and did his best and showed up on time, clean and ready to do the job, and had a hell of a time,"


If they say that about me after I'm gone, I'm good to go.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 12:51:46 PM EDT
Him and that little skinny guy used to sing some dadburn good songs.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:04:09 PM EDT
I listened to him and Dwight this morning.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:05:56 PM EDT
That SUCKS!

What sucks even more is that the inevitable marketing blitz of Buck Owens music will hit soon - and from an industry that has ignored him for years.

Dwigth Yoakam is playing here on the 31st - I am now DEFINITELY going to see him.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:07:03 PM EDT
Getting old SUCK, watch'd his show as a kid. "RIP"
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:11:46 PM EDT
Another "real" country artist gone. RIP Buck
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:16:14 PM EDT


A real Pioneer in modern Country Music. RIP Buck, keep a pickin'. We'll try to keep a grinnin'.....
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:16:28 PM EDT
I remember him. My dad used to watch heehaw. It was the corniest show on earth. But I like the heehawties.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:20:52 PM EDT
Damn.

shit... I'm gettin' old
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:24:13 PM EDT

You've got me under your spell again
Sayin' those things again
Makin'me believe that your just mine
You've got me dreamin' those things again
Thinking those things again
I've gotta take you back just one more time

I swore the last time that you let me down
That I wouldn't see you if you came around
But I can't tell my heart what's right or wrong
And I've been so lonely since you've been gon

Well, everybody tell me that I'm just a fool
That I never should have put my faith in you
And way down deep inside girl I know it's true
But no one else can make me feel the way you do

My personal favorite
RIP Buck
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:25:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:27:40 PM EDT
Just heard it on the news, darn.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:43:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
Dude must have had lots of money and could have lived anywhere in the US ... so why Bakersfield?




He called it home.

He loved the town - something about the gritty, working class aspect of it appealed to him. He moved there when he was quite young.

He was instrumental in making Bakersfield the heart of a western country music sound that - like Austin, TX - has continued to serve as a counter to Nashville marketing BS.

Merle Haggard was in his band for a while, and, IIRC, Dwight Yoakam grew up there and was heavily influenced by Owens.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:44:10 PM EDT
Rest in Peace, Buck....you will be missed
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 1:45:24 PM EDT
Thanks Buck RIP
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 4:00:24 PM EDT
Well I ain't got nothing but the shirt on my back and an old two button suit
I walked out on my job about a week ago and now I'm sleepin' in a telephone booth
But I'm a gonna be the richest guy around the day you say you're mine
I got the hungries for your love and I'm waitin' in your welfare line

Well when I first met you babe you nearly made me wreck my old '49 Cadillac
Yeah I knew at a glance that it was you for me I had to have your love by heck
Now I'm right back where that I started from but that ain't gonna change my mind
I got the hungries for your love and I'm waitin' in your welfare line

Well you made me the top dog on your hill and I was overjoyed
But it didn't take long until the thrill was gone I joined the ranks of the unemployed
Now I'm right back where that I started from but that ain't gonna change my mind
I got the hungries for your love and I'm waitin' in your welfare line
I'm waitin' in your welfare line, gimme a hand out, I'm waitin' in your welfare line
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 4:02:33 PM EDT
I've got a tiger by the tail it's plain to see
I won't be much when you've got through with me
Well I'm losing weight and I'm turning mighty pale
Looks like I've got a tiger by the tail

Well I thought the day I met you you were meek as a lamb
Just the kind to fit my dreams and plans
Now the pace we're living takes the wind from my sails
And it looks like I've got a tiger by the tail

Well every night you drag me where the bright lights are found
There ain't no way to slow you down
I'm about as helpless as a leaf in a gale
And it looks like I've got a tiger by the tail


Thanks for the memories, Buck.

Link Posted: 3/25/2006 4:04:23 PM EDT
It is a sad day for sure.


RIP Buck, and thanks for all the great music.................
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 1:31:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
One of my favorites.



+1...

RIP Ol' Buck
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 2:50:18 AM EDT
damn, I liked Buck, guess he's got his tiger by the tail now.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 3:16:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By osprey21:
Damn.

shit... I'm gettin' old



+1
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 4:55:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:00:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 10mmFan:
Him and that little skinny guy used to sing some dadburn good songs.



Buck Owens was the skinny guy.

Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:04:52 AM EDT
Buck Owens rocked. I watched Hee Haw as a kid, and couldn't appreciate what a cool show it was. Those girls were smoking hot!
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:08:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandguard:
Buck Owens rocked. I watched Hee Haw as a kid, and couldn't appreciate what a cool show it was. Those girls were smoking hot!



You do know that they spent all their time on the set drinking moonshine, smoking dope and fucking the girls.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:19:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2006 5:21:14 AM EDT by desertmoon]
Hee Haw was WAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY ahead of its' time....little of my childhood was spent in front of a TV, but a BIG portion of the time that was was spent watching Hee Haw on Sunday nights.....and then choking through Lawerence Friggin' Welk until the Wonderful World of Disney came on.

If I see another damn bubble........



Oh, well,

Thanks for the memories, Buck and thanks for influencing a LOT of unsung Americana heroes that are out today.....Dwight Yokham and the like.....and many of the ones that AREN'T heard on mainstream, crappy country stations....
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 5:47:56 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:21:09 AM EDT
I was talking about Dwight Yokum, Yokam, Yowhatever. They did some good duets. One was in fact about the streets of Bakersfield. Buck Owens was fun to watch sing too.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:26:01 AM EDT
My Grandpa loved HeeHaw. That and The Lawrence Welk Show.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:33:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:40:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2006 7:42:04 AM EDT by MudBug]
Hee Haw was fun, and obviously a successful show, but Buck Owens biggest contribution to music took place before the show. That was the invention of the "Bakersfield" sound. Buck Owens flat out Rocked before he turned into the goofy guy on the TV show.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:45:01 AM EDT
RIP Buck.

Always loved your tunes.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 11:27:40 AM EDT
Roy Clark and Buck Owens, a good happy pair.

RIP Buck,

You had some good tunes.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 2:09:28 PM EDT
always liked his song " sam's place"
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 3:25:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
I remember watching Hee-Haw as a kid in the late 60s.

He and Roy Clark were quite the performers.





The gossip was at the time, 99% of the Hee-Haw staff couldn't stand him. Obviously, I can't prove that since I wasn't there, but that's the Nashville gossip.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 6:49:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BobCole:

Originally Posted By SWS:
I remember watching Hee-Haw as a kid in the late 60s.

He and Roy Clark were quite the performers.





The gossip was at the time, 99% of the Hee-Haw staff couldn't stand him. Obviously, I can't prove that since I wasn't there, but that's the Nashville gossip.



'Nuff said.

Face it, the corny show paid the bills. It is no secret, however, that he was no fan of Nashville and Nashville no fan of him. The same can be said for Haggard, Cash, Nelson, and every other country singer that has ever insisted on paving their own path and finding their own sound.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 7:05:04 PM EDT
RIP, Buck. I watched you as a youngster and never forgot ya'.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:06:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Adam_White:

Face it, the corny show paid the bills. It is no secret, however, that he was no fan of Nashville and Nashville no fan of him. The same can be said for Haggard, Cash, Nelson, and every other country singer that has ever insisted on paving their own path and finding their own sound.





Must be why Johnny Cash always lived in Nashville as an adult, eh???
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:52:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BobCole:

Originally Posted By Adam_White:

Face it, the corny show paid the bills. It is no secret, however, that he was no fan of Nashville and Nashville no fan of him. The same can be said for Haggard, Cash, Nelson, and every other country singer that has ever insisted on paving their own path and finding their own sound.





Must be why Johnny Cash always lived in Nashville as an adult, eh???



Will someone have to post the infamous "bird" photo?
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