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Roy Clark (1933 – 2018), “Hee Haw” star

by Kirk Fox

Country music legend was a renowned guitarist.

Roy Clark was the popular longtime host of TV’s country music variety show “Hee Haw,” hosting the show from 1969 until 1997. Buck Owens co-hosted the show with Clark until 1986. Instrumental in growing the popularity of country music, Clark was a renowned guitarist and banjo player who influenced countless country stars including Brad Paisley.

Clark’s warm, inviting persona helped make him a TV star. As the host of “Hee Haw,” he would perform in comedy skits and play music with the Million Dollar Band. He also had a recurring guest role as businessman Roy Halsey on “The Beverly Hillbillies.”


Clark had his biggest crossover hit with 1969’s “Yesterday, When I Was Young.” Reaching No. 19, it was his only top 40 hit.

Clark started playing guitar, banjo, and mandolin as a teenager and won the World Banjo/Guitar Flatpick Championships. He was 17 when he made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.

A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Clark also was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

We invite you to share condolences for Roy Clark in our Guest Book.

Died: Thursday, November 15, 2018 (Who else died November 15?)

Details of death: Died at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from pneumonia at the age of 85, according to his publicist

Is there someone you miss whose memory should be honored? Here are some ways.

Notable Quote: “We would play drive-in theaters, standing on top of the projection booth. If the people liked it, they’d honk their horns.” —Clark telling the Tennessean about the early days of his career performing with banjo player David “Stringbean” Akeman

Our Video Gallery of Roy Clark’s Best Music and Comedy Moments on “Hee Haw”

What people said about him: “My story is not unique. How many guitar players started with a Roy Clark guitar method book? How many guitars were sold to people wanting to play because of him? How many lives were made better because of his wit and joy? I’m one of so many.” —Country music star Brad Paisley

“My first CMA memory is sitting on my living room floor watching Roy Clark tear it up. Sending my love and respect to him and his family for all he did.” —Country music star Keith Urban

Full obituary: The Tennessean

Birthdate: April 15, 1933 (Who else was born on April 15th?)

Related lives:

Country Music Memorial Site

Hee Haw Photo Gallery

Buck Owens (1929 – 2006), musician and co-host of “Hee Haw”

George Jones (1931 – 2013), country music star

Mel Tillis (1932 – 2017), country music legend

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