Buck Owens died today in Bakersfield, California. He was 76 years old.
He was a great songwriter, a great performer and, of course, the host of Hee Haw. He wrote many great country songs, including Excuse Me (I Think I’ve Got a Heartache) and Act Naturally, which was covered by the Beatles.
I met him once when I was a kid. Pepsi opened a big bottling plant in my hometown in 1968. Buck Owens was the featured entertainer at the grand opening. Afterwards, I met him and he signed one of his 45 records and gave it to me. Of course I lost it sometime between then and now.
Along with Merle Haggard and George Jones, Buck Owens was the basis for my early and continuing love of country music (not to be confused with the drivel that comes out of Nashville these days).