November 23

Remembering the Life of The King of Country, Roy Acuff

The King of Country Music

Roy Claxton Acuff, or simply known as Roy Acuff, was one of the most prominent figures of country music. In his lifetime, he was a singer, a fiddler, a promoter, and a freemason. Most of us in country music and Grand Ole Opry listeners will forever remember him as the “King of Country Music.”

On the 23rd of November, the year 1992, he died of congestive heart failure at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. And today, we commemorate his 26th death anniversary.

Acuff has six amazing decades as an all-around entertainer of the people. He was most notable being a “hillbilly music” traditionalist. Acuff was an expert on the yo-yo, he also had an amazing collection of hand-painted ties, and he can uniquely balance a fiddle bow on his nose.

He had numerous hits, which included “Wabash Cannonball,” “The Great Speckled Bird,” not to mention “The Precious Jewel.” He would usually perform his songs with a traditional string band and a country-gospel hybrid of singing.

As a matter of fact, you can listen to his “Wabash Cannonball” here.

His Legacy

Roy Acuff, King of Country Music
Credits to: Roy Acuff & Kitty Wells Facebook Page

Acuff once said that:

“I Like to think I was the first person to bring voice to the Opry. I was the first fellows who reared back and hit a microphone with a strong voice.”

He was a mogul in the country music business. Acuff was the host on weekly Grand Ole Opry broadcasts, and he founded the Acuff-Rose Publishing company, which at a time, was the world’s leading country music publisher. This was done all during his expansive career.

Acuff scored his biggest hits as the decade of the ’30s ended. He was given a spot on the coast-to-coast Saturday night Opry broadcasts on NBC radio. And during the ’40s, he tried his hand at acting. He was in nine films for Republic Studios, including the 1940 film “Grand Ole Opry.” Acuff was also a huge supporter of the troops because, during World War II, he did his best to tour the world to entertain the troops.

In addition, he received many awards during his lifetime. Acuff was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington for his contribution to the performing arts, coupled with his other honors were the National Medal of Art in July 1991. Moreover, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization that presents the Grammy awards.


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