April 15

Roy Clark: A Worldwide Symbol of Country Music in the ’70s

It’s only been a few months when country music let go of one of its legends, Roy Clark. Today, he’s supposed to be celebrating his 86th birthday. But even if the late musician is no longer around, his great legacy is not forgotten. And to honor him on the day of his birth, let’s look at how he became a significant symbol of country music across the world in the 1970s.

Roy Clark, symbol of country music, Hee Haw
Photo credit: Roy Clark/Official Facebook Page

Roy Clark as a Prolific Entertainer

He began by serving as a guest host for Jonny Carson on The Tonight Show. While doing that, he was also performing in the Soviet Union and had sold out a total of 18 concerts while on tour. Given his music talent and entertaining personality, it’s no wonder why he was able to pack houses each time he had a show. Apparently, many folks around the world fell in love with his music style and unparalleled talents.

Roy Clark also appeared on several other TV shows such as The Beverly Hillbillies where he had a recurring character, the Sunday evening program dedicated to country music Jackie Gleason Show where Clark rendered an intense delivery of “Down Home,” and played “Malagueña” in one of the episodes of The Odd Couple.

In 1969, Clark joined Buck Owens as co-host to the nationally televised country variety show Hee Haw. During his stint with the program, which lasted until 1997, Clark was able to enjoy a 30-million viewership weekly.

His Music

Roy Clark was undeniably an influential figure in country music during his time. Not only was he known for his banjo, fiddle, and guitar playing abilities but also he’s famous for his expertise in many traditional music genres such as Latin music, country music, bluegrass, pop, and classical guitar.

His country music style was harder-edged than that of Kenny Rogers’ but softer and more open compared to Waylon Jennings. He had popularized several hits during the ‘60s including “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” and “Thank God and Greyhound.” In 1987, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.



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