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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default 'Hee Haw' country star Buck Owens dies at 76


    'Act Naturally' singer had more than 20 No. 1 records

    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Buck Owens, co-host of television's "Hee Haw" and who shaped the sound of country music with hits like "Act Naturally," has died. 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 Emmylou 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.

    Pickin' and grinnin'
    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.

    Bakersfield Sound
    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.

    •"Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache)," 1960

    •"Foolin' Around," 1961

    •"Kickin' Our Hearts Around," 1962

    •You're for Me," 1962

    •"Act Naturally," 1963

    •"Love's Gonna Live Here," 1963

    •"My Heart Skips a Beat," 1964

    •"Together Again," 1964

    •"I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," 1964

    •"Before You Go," 1965

    •"Waitin' in Your Welfare Line," 1966

    •"It Takes People Like You (To Make People Like Me)," 1967

    •"I've Got You on My Mind Again," 1968

    •"Sweet Rosie Jones," 1968

    •"Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass," 1969

    •"Tall Dark Stranger," 1969

    •"Big in Vegas," 1969

    •"Made in Japan," 1972

    •"Play Together Again Again" (with Emmylou Harris), 1979

    •"Streets of Bakersfield" (with Dwight Yoakam), 1988

    •"Act Naturally" (with Ringo Starr), 1989
    Last edited by voivod; 03.25.06 at 03:02 PM.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    How sad.

    I loved Hee Haw and all of his music.

    Grew up with his music.

    RIP.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  3. #3
    The Joker BradS's Avatar
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    I loved that red, white and blue acoustic. R.I.P.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithjc
    How sad.
    I loved Hee Haw and all of his music.
    Grew up with his music.
    RIP.
    Ditto...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  5. #5
    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    Great musician, he and Dwight Yokam did a remake of The streets of Bakersfield, have always loved that....RIP!!

  6. #6
    Eruption lal5150's Avatar
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    because of hee haw and dwight yoakam i listened to buck owens . i loved his music.... thank you and god bless . that band in heaven is really jamming now...
    Last edited by lal5150; 03.25.06 at 04:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Buck for the memories and great times you provided with your music and on the show Hee Haw. You just don't see great shows like that anymore, and it's a shame. R.I.P. Buck, you will be greatly missed!!

    "See ya next week on HEEEEEE HAAWW!!!!"


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    I loved that red, white and blue acoustic. R.I.P.
    This 'tis both ironic and sad. I'm gonna go semi-off topic for a moment but it all gors back to Buck. I just told Loons about it earlier but a friend and myself swapped axes earlier in the week. I let him borrow my Frankenstrat cos my buddy doesn't have any guitars with Floyd Roses nor does he know much with VH style of playing. I borrowed his Telecaster cos I've never owned one and wanted to give it a try. Well, the guitar has been comfy, so much that I even wrote a pretty cool song on it earlier in the week. The Tele that I happened to borrow and have been and am currently noddling with is a Fender Buck Owens Signature Model Telecaster.

    Heeya it 'tis...



    Buck was great and it's beyond stellar to read fellow posters both knowing and diggin' his duet with Dwight. What a killer tune. Another Buck gem that I've ALWAYS loved 'tis "Tiger by the Tail."

    Indeed a huge loss.

    R.I.P. Buck Owens.
    EAT US AND SMILE!!!!

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  9. #9
    Eruption ddzavis's Avatar
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    I searched the world over and I thought I found true love, you met another and PFFFFFFFT, sadly, you are gone! RIP Mr. Owens.

  10. #10
    Eruption Executionor's Avatar
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    RIP Buck. It is kinda sad really, but a lot of the stars taht I dug when growing up are passin on now. Johnny Cash, June Carter, Buck Owens....I wonder if there is going to be anyone that my kids will miss as much.

    Miss ya Buck!
    "Knowing is not enough, we must apply,willing is not enough, we must do" -Goethe

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  11. #11
    Summer Nights in Cabo SNIC's Avatar
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    I will always remember Buck because of Hee Haw. RIP Buck...

    Artists I Have Seen: 1D, 38 Special, Aerosmith, Alabama, Bad Company, Bad English, Billy Squire, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Boston, BTO, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Chickenfoot, Cinderella, Daughtry, Dave Matthews Band, Default, Def Leppard, Dio, Dokken, Drowning Pool, Eagles, Earth Wind & Fire, Eddie Money, Eric Clapton, Farenheit, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Glass Tiger, Heart, Huey Lewis and the News, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Joe Bonamassa, John Mellencamp, Journey, Keel, Kingdom Come, Kings X, KISS, Kool and the Gang, Krokus, Lionel Richie, Little River Band, Lou Gramm, Loverboy, Los Lonely Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica, Michael Bolton, Nickelback, Night Ranger, Paul Stanley, Peter Frampton, Pink Floyd, Poison, Red Rider, REO Speedwagon, Santana, Sammy Hagar, Shinedown, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band, Styx, Ted Nugent, Tesla, The 1975, The Black Crowes, The Roots, The Wallflowers, U2, Van Halen, Whitesnake, Zac Brown Band, ZZ Top

  12. #12
    no stinkin click! muffdiver's Avatar
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    I used to watch that all the time as a kid too.....

    rip Buck....

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    simpler days....
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

 

 

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