Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr. (August 12, 1929 to March 25, 2006), better known as Buck Owens, was an American singer and guitarist who had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts with his band, the Buckaroos. They pioneered what came 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. Beginning in 1969, Owens co-hosted the TV series Hee Haw with Roy Clark. He left the cast in 1986. In 1974, the accidental death of Rich, his best friend, devastated him for years and abruptly halted his career until he performed with Dwight Yoakam in 1988. Owens is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.