Sherman Native Buck Owens Dies at 76

3-25-06 - Buck Owens wanted to be noticed by his audience. He donned rhinestone costumes and played a red, white and blue guitar. He's remembered Saturday by Country Music Hall of Fame historian Jay Carr as a unique, hard-country artist.

Owens died Saturday at his home in Bakersfield, California. He was 76. Owens told an interviewer in 1996 that his signature "Bakersfield sound" was influenced by the music he heard as a child during the Great Depression.

Orr says Owens developed his honky-tonk sound in bars where he had to play hard to be heard. Owens could be rebellious, choosing among other things to label what he did "American music" rather than country. He said he took "a little heat" for that decision. And he also criticized the syrupy arrangements of some country singers, saying "assembly-line, robot music" turned him off.

Owens was born in Sherman, Texas in 1929. Named Alvis Edgar Owens Jr, the sharecropping family moved to Arizona when he was 8. During the 1990's, the city honored Owens by naming an access road near highway 75 in his name.