Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CLARK, Roy

(b 15 April '33, Meherrin VA) Country guitarist, singer, comedian. Began as child prodigy in his father's country band; won US country music banjo championship twice '52--3. Tried out for St Louis baseball team; took up amateur boxing in Washington DC area where he lived. Played back-up guitar in various bands with Jimmy Dean, Marvin Rainwater, George Hamilton IV, Wanda Jackson (on her rock'n'roll records). Appeared on Dean's and Hamilton's TV series '57--61; recorded for Four Star, Debbie, Coral, Capitol '62--7: hits 'Tips Of My Fingers' '63, 'Through The Eyes Of A Fool' '64. LPs showcased guitar as well as vocal talents: Lightning Fingers '65, Happy To Be Unhappy '67. Signed with Dot '68, hit jackpot with 'Yesterday When I Was Young': top 20 pop, top ten country. Hits with 'I Never Picked Cotton' '70, 'Thank God And Greyhound' '71, but more success as concert act: highest-paid country star '69--74. Named Entertainer of the Year '73 by CMA, Comedian of the Year '70--72; played Cousin Roy on Beverly Hillbillies TV series '62--71, co-host of Hee- Haw '69--75, performed in USSR '76 and '88. More hits: 'Come And Live With Me' '73 (no. 1 country), 'Somewhere Between Love And Tomorrow' '74 (no. 2), 'Honeymoon Feeling' '74, 'Heart To Heart' '75. Albums with banjoist Buck Trent (Pair Of Fives '75), bluesman Gatemouth Brown (Makin' Music '79); also his own: The Incredible Roy Clark '71, Come Live With Me '73, Classic Clark '75, My Music And Me '77, Back To The Country '81. Joined manager Jim Halsey's record label Churchill '82 with LPs Live From Austin City Limits and Turned Loose. Moved through Silver Dollar and Hallmark labels with minor hits; co- starred with Mel Tillis in film Uphill All The Way '86, joined Grand Ole Opry '87 and appears regularly at Branson in his own show. He made a delightful instrumental album with guitar virtuoso Joe Pass early '94: two guitars with rhythm section Play Hank Williams on Buster Ann Music.