KUZZ Radio owner and Country Music Hall of Fame musician Alvis E. "Buck" Owens died early Saturday morning at his Bakersfield, CA home. His family says Buck died in his sleep and the cause of death is not yet known. Buck was born on August 12, 1929 in Sherman, Texas. The son of a sharecropper, Buck traveled with his family to the Phoenix, Arizona area in 1937 as they searched for a better life. Eventually, they traveled to California's San Joaquin Valley, doing farm work. At a young age Buck vowed that when he grew up, he would not be poor. He found a way out of his family's poverty through his musical talent.
That talent blossomed after Buck moved to Bakersfield in 1951. Within months he was a member of the hottest honky-tonk band in town, Bill Woods & The Orange Blossom Playboys, who held forth at the legendary Blackboard night club. He began playing a Fender Telecaster guitar, which provided a unique new sound in country music. Soon he was playing for recording sessions at Capitol Records. His first session as a leader came in 1957, but the session produced no hits
Shortly thereafter, Buck began his other career, as a broadcaster. He moved to the Tacoma, Washington suburb of Puyallup and bought part-interest in a radio station, where he worked as a DJ and ad salesman as well as playing gigs in the area. He also had a live TV show in Tacoma.
Buck's first Top 10 record, "Under Your Spell Again," was released in 1959. In 1960, he sold his interests in Washington state and returned to Bakersfield, which was his home until he died. From 1962 to 1968 Buck released a series of #1 records that established him as one of the greatest country entertainers of all time.
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