Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard, was the leader of the Bakersfield sound, a twangy, electricified, rock-influenced interpretation of hardcore honky tonk that emerged in the '60s. Owens was the first bona fide country star to emerge from Bakersfield, scoring a total of 15 consecutive number one hits in the mid-'60s. In the process, he provided an edgy alternative to the string-laden country-pop that was being produced during the '60s. Later in his career, his musical impact was forgotten by some as he became a television personality through the country comedy show Hee Haw. Nevertheless, several generations of musicians -- from Gram Parsons in the late '60s to Dwight Yoakam in the '80s -- were influenced by his music, which wound up being one of the blueprints for modern country music.