The man who brought The Bakersfield Sound to America died yesterday at age 76. Although he was known to many as the Clown Prince of Hee Haw, Buck Owens was a savvy businessman who built a fortune in real estate and media operations.
Buck brought the twangy steel guitar sounds of California to the country music scene in the 60's in stark contrast to the string-laden path being taken in Nashville. His "Cryin' Time" was recorded by Ray Charles as was the Beatles' hit, "Act Naturally."
One of the first albums I can remember playing was "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail." It showed me that there was more to country music than I was hearing on the radio. Life since then has been good.
Rest easy, Buck. You've earned it.