Roy Clark

Happy Birthday

Roy Linwood Clark
April 15, 1933
Meherrin, Virginia

Roy Clark was an American singer and musician. He is best known for having hosted Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997. Clark was an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and in helping to popularize the genre.

Clark was born April 15, 1933, in Meherrin, Virginia. He was one of five children born to Hester and Hawtie Clark. His father was a tobacco farmer. 

The first musical instrument Clark ever played was a four-string cigar box with a ukelele neck attached to it, which he picked up in elementary school. Soon Clark was playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin.

In 1954, rising country music star Jimmy Dean asked Clark to join his band, the Texas Wildcats, as lead guitarist. In 1960, Clark went out to Las Vegas, where he worked as a guitarist in a band led by former West Coast Western Swing bandleader-comedian Hank Penny. Clark also joined rockabilly queen, Wanda Jackson's band. 
Clark appeared on The Beverly Hillbillies as a recurring character — actually two, as he played businessman Roy Halsey and Roy's mother, Myrtle. Once, in an episode of the Sunday evening Jackie Gleason Show dedicated to country music, Clark played a blistering rendition of "Down Home". Later, he appeared in an episode of The Odd Couple, where he played "Malagueña".

In 1969, Clark and Buck Owens were the hosts of syndicated sketch comedy program Hee Haw, which aired from 1969 until 1997 and propelled Clark to stardom. During its tenure, Clark was a member of the Million Dollar Band and participated in a host of comedy sketches. In 1983, Clark opened the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre in Branson, Missouri, which was the "first venue linked permanently to a widely known entertainer" in the resort town.

Clark signed with Capitol Records and in 1962 released his first solo album, The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark. The album won solid critical praise, and "above-average" notice from fans. By the early 1970s, Clark was the highest-paid country music star in the United States, earning $7 million a year.

In the 1970's Roy Clark was everywhere. It seemed like he appeared on every show. Love American Style, Flip Wilson, Odd Couple, and Captain & Tennille to name a few, not to mention Hee Haw. 

By the early 1970s, Clark had been named "Entertainer of the Year" three times by the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association (CMA) . The Academy also named him "Best Lead Guitar Player" and "Best Comedy Act", while the CMA named him an "International Friendship Ambassador" in 1976 after Clark toured the Soviet Union. On August 22, 1987, Clark was made a member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

Clark was an incredible guitarist and multi instrumentalist and he seemed like the nicest guy. Who can forget his ear to ear smile as he was up there a pickin' and a grinnin'. 

Clark died on November 15, 2018, at 85 at his Tulsa Oklahoma home.

We take this time to Remember Roy Clark on his Birthday!  Thank You for the music, and entertainment Roy! You are missed!
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