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Owens (along with other artists like Merle Haggard and Tommy Collins) was credited with developing "The Bakersfield Sound" a rock-influenced interpretation of classic country music. As a result of the popularity of "The Bakersfield Sound," Owens achieved his greatest success during the 1960s, during which he toured and recorded extensively. In 1969,
he was introduced to television audiences when he signed on as host of the variety show Hee Haw. During his 15-year-run on Hee Haw, Owens continued to record music, though his album sales significantly declined.
Owens remained out of the public eye throughout the mid-1980s, but staged an unlikely comeback with his 1988 collaboration with up-and-coming country singer Dwight Yoakam. The duo re-recorded Owen"s 1972 song "Streets of Bakersfield," which reached the top of the charts and marked Owen"s first No. 1 hit since 1972. The following year, he returned to the stage and released the albums Hot Dog! and Live at Carnegie Hall (a reissue of his 1966 concert).
Owens was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996. Owens died on March 25, 2006, at his home in Bakersfield, California. He died in his sleep just hours after finishing a performance at his concert hall and restaurant, Buck Owens' Crystal Palace.
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