Buck Owens

From ArticleWorld

Buck Owens is an American country music singer who was a pioneer of and defined the "Bakersfield Sound". He made music his own way, going against the grains of mainstream Nashville, and made a big name for himself in the process.

Buck Owens was born Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr. on August 12, 1929 in Sherman, Texas. The nickname "Buck" was given to him after an old family mule. He was born into a family of sharecroppers and was one of the many families running from the struggles of the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression from Texas for California. His family's trailer broke down in Mesa, Arizona, so that is where they stayed and lived.

Owens taught himself, with the help of family, how to play various instruments. He dropped out of high school at 13 to pay his way and earn a living. He worked various jobs and even found a gig playing bars for only $5 a night. Around 1940 he began running produce and other products from Arizona to the San Joaquin Valley in California. He like the town of Bakersfield and moved there to sing in the bars and honky-tonks.

Soon he was known as one of the best "pickers" and musicians around. Capitol Records signed him in 1957, but success was not immediate. He met up with Don Rich and they recorded a few songs, such as "Under Your Spell Again," but none of these were notable hits. They returned home to Bakersfield in 1959 and put Owens’s old group back together: The Buckaroos. A few years later, Owens name began to enter the chart tops regularly. Between the 1960’s and 70’s he recorded fifteen No.1 hits and started a television production company.

He got a spot on the comedy Hee-Haw and stayed there, along with Roy Clark, for nearly twenty years. Owens was different from most of the other country artists of his time: he avoided alcohol and drugs and lived a rather quiet life.