Buck Owens has died. He was 76.

I first knew him as the guy who played guitar next to banjo-picker Roy Clark on “Hee-Haw,” but he was much more than that. Owens was extremely influential in the country music scene, creating the twangy “Bakersfield sound” later emulated by Dwight Yoakum.

I had an album with some of his early country hits — including the classic “Act Naturally” — and they always made me smile.

And, of course, what would life have been like without “Hee-Haw?” Soupy Sales’ career would have been over decades too early.

Mr. Owens, “Saaaloot.”