Bakersfield, CA — The world of country music is saddened today – the legendary Buck Owens died at his home in Bakersfield – he was 76.
Family spokesman Jim Shaw says Owens died early this morning. The cause of death is not immediately known.
Owens enjoyed a string of more than 20 number one records, most of them released from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. His songs had a distinctive honky-tonk electric guitar twang that came to be known throughout California as the “Bakersfield Sound.” His massive hit “Act Naturally” was covered by the Beatles in 1965 on their album “Help!”.
In the 1970s Owens helped introduce country music to mainstream America on the long-running T-V show “Hee Haw.” Owens still had performed regularly at his own glitzy honky tonk in Bakersfield known as the Crystal Palace. He underwent throat cancer surgery in 1993 and was hospitalized with pneumonia in January 1997.