Country Music Hall of Famer Roy Clark Dead at 85
Roy Clark, a Country Music Hall of Famer best-known for being the co-host of Hee Haw, has died at the age of 85. The "Come Live With Me" singer had been suffering from pneumonia before he died on Thursday (Nov. 15) at his home in Oklahoma.
The Washington, D.C.-raised Clark first tasted major success in 1969 with a song called "Yesterday When I Was Young," a Top 10 country hit that also crossed over to pop radio. He'd cross genres and mediums frequently, beginning that same year with Hee Haw, a variety show filmed in Nashville that lasted just two-and-a-half years, but was syndicated long into the 1990s. His eight Top 10 singles include "The Tips of My Fingers," "I've Never Picked Cotton" and "Somewhere Between Love and Tomorrow." "Come Live With Me" from 1973 would be his lone No. 1 hit during a radio run that thrived in the early-to-mid 1970s.
Clark became an international star and lived a life outside of Music City in Tulsa, Okla., with his wife, Barbara. Roy Linwood Clark was actually born in Meherrin, Va., but raised in the nation's capital city and subjected to all sorts of music from a young age, including various military bands. As a teenager he dedicated himself to guitar and banjo and soon after started earning money for appearances, some of which were on TV. His big break would come in 1960 when Wanda Jackson invited him to open shows at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.
Among his many CMA and ACM honors are two ACM Entertainer of the Year wins (1972 and 1973) and one CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1973. The Grammy winner recorded albums well into the 1990s. He's generally regarded as a pioneer who transformed Branson, Mo., into a live music destination. He became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
A note from Clark's publicist states that a memorial celebration will take place in Tulsa in the coming days. He's survived by his wife of 61 years and their four children, as well as several grandchildren and his sister, Susan.
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