A Country Music Hall of Famer who was a prominent figure on television through appearances on “Hee Haw,” “Grand Ole Opry” specials and other programs has died. Legendary singer and guitar picker Roy Clark died today at his home in Tulsa, Okla., due to complications from pneumonia, according to media reports. He was 85.
Clark was a fixture on “Hee Haw” as the long-running country music and comedy series’ host from 1969-1997. He also frequently guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on NBC’s “Tonight Show” in the 1970s and appeared as a guest on shows such as “Love American Style,” “The Odd Couple” and “The Muppet Show.”
Best known for his prowess on guitar and banjo, Clark was a multi-instrumentalist who was also accomplished at playing mandolin, fiddle and harmonica, among other instruments. He was skilled at classical guitar, but it was his country-style guitar picking that influenced generations of country and bluegrass musicians.
In addition to having an impact on the development of country playing, he also helped popularize the genre through his personable presence and high-profile television appearances.
Clark had a number of hit songs as a recording artist, including “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” “Somewhere Between Love and Tomorrow,” “If I Had It to Do All Over Again” and “Thank God and Greyhound.” He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1987 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
A media firm representing Clark, 2911 Media, put out an extensive press release today detailing Clark’s career, which you can read by clicking here.
Here’s a short clip of Clark performing “Yesterday When I Was Young,” posted by 2911 Enterprises …