Thursday, November 15, 2018

Roy Clark, who was better than 'Hee Haw,' dies at 85

Roy Clark, who played many instruments, is pictured two years ago at the age of 83. (Photo via
Roy Clark, a superb musician and entertainer who was best known as co-host with Buck Owens of "Hee Haw," died today of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa. He was 85.

"Roy Clark’s decade-defying success could be summed up in one word — sincerity," Jeremy Westby writes for 2911 Media, a Nashville public-relations firm. "Sure, he was one of the world’s finest multi-instrumentalists, and one of the first crossover artists to land singles on both the pop and country charts. He was the pioneer who turned Branson, Mo., into the live music capital of the world . . . and his talents turned 'Hee Haw' into the longest-running syndicated show in television history. But the bottom line for Roy Clark was the honest warmth he gave to his audiences. Bob Hope summed it up when he told Roy, 'Your face is like a fireplace.'"

Kristin Hall reports for The Associated Press, "Clark played the guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica and other instruments. His skills brought him gigs as guest performer with many top orchestras, including the Boston Pops." He grew up in Meherrin, Virginia, Juli Thanki notes for The Tennessean. "The oldest of five children, he grew up in a musical family."

UPDATE, Nov. 18: The celebration of Clark's life will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 21 at Rhema Bible Church at 1025 W Kenosha St Broken Arrow, OK 74012, near Tulsa.

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