US singer, guitarist Roy Clark dead at 85
In this May 17, 2009, file photo, country music star Roy Clark performs after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
Roy Clark, the legendary guitarist and singer, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member and Grammy award winner has died at the age of 85 due to complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Roy Clark, the legendary 'superpicker', GRAMMY, CMA and ACM award winner, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member and co-host of the famed 'Hee Haw' television series, died today at the age of 85 due to complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. pic.twitter.com/mOhMM561KT— Eric Alper (@ThatEricAlper) November 15, 2018
His starring stint on the at times deliberately corny Hee Haw show in the US belied his stellar musicianship and deep pedigree as a country-music pioneer.
With the rise of country stars ranging from Emmylou Harris and Dwight Yoakam to Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, Clark's vast influence has received its proper due.
He first television appearances in 1963 on The Tonight Show and American Bandstand showcased his easygoing attitude and rural sense of humour.
"Humour is a blessing to me. My earliest recollections are of looking at something and seeing the lighter side," he said. "But it's always spontaneous. I couldn't write a comedy skit for someone else."
Throughout the '60s, Clark recorded several albums, toured constantly, and appeared on many TV variety shows.
Then came Hee Haw. A countrified comedy show with music, shot in Nashville, it premiered in 1969. It launched him into stardom, and over the years he had 23 Top 40 country hits.
We're sorry to hear about the passing of Roy Clark. Roy Clark made best use of his incredible talent. He was both a showman and a virtuoso, with a love of music that beamed across air waves and into millions of living rooms, where families gathered to watch and listen. pic.twitter.com/FD8lYeejZR— Country Music HOF (@countrymusichof) November 15, 2018
From his home in Tulsa, where he moved in 1974 with Barbara, his wife of 61 years, Clark continued to tour extensively.
"Soon as you hit the edge of the stage and see people smiling and know they're there to hear you, it's time to have fun," he said. :I keep a band of great young people around me, and we're not musically restrained. It's not about 'let's do it correct' but 'let's do it right.'"
He was the rare entertainer with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame; and to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall.
When the Nashville floods wiped out most of my guitars, Roy heard about it & showed up at a show and gave me one of his. This is who this man was. Constantly giving. I owe him so much. Go say hi to my Papaw for me Roy. You left the world a much better place. #royclark pic.twitter.com/Aus1110BsU— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) November 15, 2018
Clark is survived by Barbara, his wife of 61 years, his sons Roy Clark II and wife Karen, Dr. Michael Meyer and wife Robin, Terry Lee Meyer, Susan Mosier and Diane Stewart, and his grandchildren: Brittany Meyer, Michael Meyer, Caleb Clark, Josiah Clark and his sister, Susan Coryell.
A memorial celebration will be held in the coming days in Tulsa.
© RAW 2018