Buck Owens Honored With Star on Bakersfield Walk of Fame
Long before the late Buck Owens became the co-host of TV's 'Hee Haw,' a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, he walked the streets of Bakersfield. The California town was fertile ground for the unique sound he and his band, the Buckaroos, and other artists were developing there in the 1950s. The Texas native loved Bakersfield so much, he moved there in 1950, eventually making it his permanent home until he died in March, 2006. After Buck's song, 'Act Naturally,' became his first No. 1 hit in 1963, he added 20 additional No. 1 hits to his collection, including 1988's 'Streets of Bakersfield,' a duet with Dwight Yoakam.
On Wednesday (August 11), the Bakersfield West Rotary donated the Buck Owens star on the Fox Theater's Walk of Fame, to honor the man who made a household name out of their fair city. On hand at the unveiling ceremony were Buck's sons, Mike and Johnny, his nephew Mel and about 100 people including friends, employees of the Owens family, fans and singer Darryl Worley, who headlined the annual Buck's Birthday Bash at the Crystal Palace (the Bakersfield nightclub he owned) on Wednesday evening. The late singer was honored with the star one day before what would have been his 81st birthday.
"Dad would be proud of this," said Mike. "Instead of the streets of Bakersfield, it's more like the sidewalks of Bakersfield." (Quote via Bakersfield.com)
After several fans in the crowd speculated how Buck might have reacted to the news of this honor, nephew Mel shared his opinion: "Buck is up there saying, 'All right. I finally got it!'"