Sunday, March 26, 2006

sad day for country music

Country singer Owens dies at 76

Country singer Buck Owens, who had a string of US hit records, has died at the age of 76.

Owens, who notched 15 consecutive US country number ones in the mid-1960s, died at home in Los Angeles, his spokesman said.

Owens co-hosted US variety TV show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1986 and had hits with singles including I've Got a Tiger by the Tail and Love's Gonna Live Here.

The Beatles recorded a cover of his song Act Naturally in 1965.

Born in Texas, Owens moved to the Californian town of Bakersfield in 1951 and became associated with the electrified "Bakersfield sound" style.

Spokesman Jim Shaw, who played in Owens' band The Buckaroos, said the singer had "a raw edge".

"I think the reason he was so well known and respected by a younger generation of country musicians was because he was an innovator and rebel," he said.

Recording break

In 1992, Owens said: "I'd like to be remembered as a guy that came along and did his music, did his best and showed up on time, clean and ready to do the job, wrote a few songs and had a hell of a time."

After a decade-long break from recording, he released the duet Streets of Bakersfield with Dwight Yoakam in 1988.

Owens had surgery for throat cancer in 1993 and was hospitalised with pneumonia four years later.

His business interests included TV and radio stations.

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