Country Music Hall of Fame singer Roy Clark has died at 85

Ruben Ruiz
November 16, 2018

Country music veteran Roy Clark, the Grammy-winning co-host of TV's long-running "Hew-Haw" show, died Thursday at his home in Tulsa, Okla.

A rep for the Grammy, CMA and ACM Award victor tells us Clark died Thursday morning at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Six years later, he scored a second Top Ten hit with "Yesterday, When I Was Young", and became the co-host, with Buck Owens, of Hee Haw. The country music and comedy show's last episode aired in 1993, though reruns continued for a few years thereafter.

He was also known for his instrumental versions of 'Malaguena, ' on 12-string guitar, and 'Ghost Riders in the Sky'. Clark took up the banjo, guitar, and mandolin (and, later, fiddle and harmonica) at age 14, and by age 15 he was not only playing in his father's square-dance band but had won several national and worldwide banjo championships.

Clark bee-bopped around playing with several artists for years - including David "Stringbean" Akeman and Wanda Jackson - before signing with Capitol Records. Many others would follow the example of Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre.

Baseball legend Mickey Mantle, a longtime fan and friend of Clark's, requested that Clark perform "Yesterday, When I Was Young" at his funeral, a promise Clark kept when Mantle died in 1995. "Sending my love and respect to him and his family for all he did", Keith Urban, victor of CMA Entertainer of the Year on Wednesday night, tweeted upon hearing the sad news.

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Clark went on to become a staple of Las Vegas showrooms and Atlantic City casinos and performed at leading venues such as Carnegie Hall in NY and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the country music mecca where he was enshrined as a member in 1987. This is who this man was. I just have to assume something happened to him because of the weather and he just never recovered, ' she added. "You left the world a much better place".

Clark's career really took off in 1960 when he was invited to perform in Las Vegas.

The legendary Jimmy Dean noticed the talented young Clark and hired him to play on radio and TV in the Washington, D.C. area.

"We became a part of the family".

A source of comic relief as well as musical flair, Clark played alongside musicians including Owens, banjo player Grandpa Jones and singer Kenny Price, with whom he formed the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet. This put my face and name together'.

Other reports by GizPress

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