40 Facts About Roy Clark


Roy Linwood Clark was an American singer, musician, and television presenter.


Roy Clark is best known for having hosted Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997.


Roy Clark was highly regarded and renowned as a guitarist, banjo player, and fiddler.


Roy Clark was skilled in the traditions of many genres, including classical guitar, country music, Latin music, bluegrass, and pop.


Roy Clark became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1987, and, in 2009, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Roy Clark spent his childhood in Meherrin and New York City, where his father moved the family to take jobs during the Great Depression.


When Roy Clark was 11 years old, his family moved to a home on 1st Street SE in the Washington Highlands neighborhood of Washington, DC, after his father found work at the Washington Navy Yard.

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Roy Clark's father was a semi-professional musician who played banjo, fiddle, and guitar, and his mother played piano.


The first musical instrument Roy Clark ever played was a four-string cigar box with a ukulele neck attached to it, which he picked up in elementary school.


Roy Clark's father taught Clark to play guitar when Roy was 14 years old, and soon Clark was playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin.


Roy Clark was very shy, and turned to humor as a way of easing his timidity.


Country-western music was widely derided by Roy Clark's schoolmates, leaving him socially isolated.


Roy Clark used humor as a musician as well, and it was not until the mid 1960s that he felt confident enough to perform in public without using humor in his act.


Duet acts were in favor, and for his public performance debut Roy Clark teamed up with Carl Lukat.


Lukat was the lead guitarist, and Roy Clark supported him on rhythm guitar.


In 1949, at the age of 16, Roy Clark made his television debut on WTTG, the DuMont Television Network affiliate in Washington, DC At 17, he made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in recognition for winning his second national banjo title.


Roy Clark toured the country for the next 18 months playing backup guitar during the week for David "Stringbean" Akeman, Annie Lou and Danny, Lonzo and Oscar, and Hal and Velma Smith, working county fairs and small town theaters.


Roy Clark recorded singles for Coral Records and 4 Star Records.


At the age of 23, Roy Clark obtained his pilot's certificate and then bought a 1953 Piper Tri-Pacer, which he flew for many years.


Roy Clark owned other planes, including a Mitsubishi MU-2, Stearman PT-17 and Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond 1A business jet.


Roy Clark was the lead guitarist, and made appearances on Dean's "Town and Country Time" program on WARL-AM and on WMAL-TV.


Roy Clark competed in 1956 on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, a variety show airing on CBS.


In 1960, Roy Clark went to Las Vegas, where he worked as a guitarist in a band led by former West Coast Western Swing bandleader-comedian Hank Penny.


Dean asked Roy Clark to appear on the last night of his guest-host stint, and showcased Roy Clark in two songs.


Roy Clark made his solo debut on The Tonight Show in January 1963.

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Once, in an episode of the Saturday evening Jackie Gleason Show dedicated to country music, Roy Clark played a blistering rendition of "Down Home".


Roy Clark frequently played in Branson during the 1980s and 1990s.


Roy Clark sold the venue in 1992 and went back to a light touring schedule.


Roy Clark annually appeared with Ramona Jones and the Jones Family Band at their annual tribute to Roy Clark's former Hee Haw co-star Grandpa Jones in Mountain View, Arkansas.


In 1960, Roy Clark began touring with rockabilly star Wanda Jackson, and playing backup instrumentals on several of her recordings.


Roy Clark signed with the Halsey Agency, which represented him for the remainder of his career.


Roy Clark signed with Capitol and in 1962 released his first solo album, The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark.


Roy Clark switched to Dot Records and again scored hits.


Roy Clark later recorded for ABC Records, which had acquired Dot, and MCA Records, the latter of which then was allowed to absorb the ABC label.


Roy Clark endorsed Mosrite, Gretsch, and Heritage guitars; the latter produced a signature model.


Roy Clark died on November 15,2018, at 85 at his Tulsa home due to complications of pneumonia.


Roy Clark played an annual benefit concert at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, the proceeds of which went to fund scholarships for aspiring musicians.


Roy Clark was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.


Roy Clark was honored by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame as Oklahoma's Music Ambassador for Children and presented with a commendation from Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.


Roy Clark was inducted into the Fiddlers Hall of Fame.