Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens, Jr., (August 12, 1929 ? March 25, 2006) was an American singer and guitarist, with 20 number-one hits on the Billboard country music charts. Both as a solo artist and with his band, the Buckaroos, Buck Owens, along with his partner Don Rich, pioneered what has come to be called the Bakersfield sound ? a reference to Bakersfield, California, the city Owens called home and from which he drew inspiration for what he preferred to call "American Music".
While Owens originally used fiddle and retained pedal steel guitar into the 1970s, his sound on records and onstage was always more stripped-down and elemental, incorporating elements of rock'n'roll. Owens met Rich while in Tacoma. Rich can be heard harmonizing on all of Owens' hits until his untimely death in a motorcycle accident in 1974. The loss of his best friend devastated Owens for years and abruptly halted his career until Owens performed with Dwight Yoakam in 1988.