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Buck Owens

Buck Owens was an American Country singer who defined the gritty "Bakersfield sound." He was born in Sherman, Texas, the son of sharecroppers on August 12, 1929, named for a family horse (or a mule — reports seem to vary).

During the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression, in 1937, his family left Texas for California. Their trailer hitch broke in Arizona, and there they stayed.

Owens worked the fields, self-teaching himself many intruments. In the late 40's, he began running produce between Arizona and the San Joaquin Valley of California, and was impressed by Bakersfield, finally settling there to work the gritty honky tonks populated by Bakersfield's oil workers. He developed a reputation as one of the best pickers around.

Unlike many fellow artists, Owens avoided drugs and drink, living as a quiet family man. He was a co-host of the comedy show Hee Haw for seventeen years.

Owens was a rebel at heart doing his music his way, shunning the conventions of Nashville.

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