Country music entertainer Roy Clark, who traversed over to the mainstream via the long-running variety show “Hee Haw, ” died Thursday at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was 85.
According to a statement from his publicist, Clark died due to complications from pneumonia.
Born Roy Linwood Clark in Meherrin, Virginia, in 1933, “hes spent” part of his youth in Washington where “his fathers” played in a square dance band and inspired his son to take up the banjo and mandolin.
But it was the guitar that devoted Clark his job. He got his first one when he was 14 and was playing gigs within in a year.
Clark was soon touring with country legend Hank Williams and first played the Grand Ole Opry in 1950, according to his publicist.
Clark’s career actually took off in 1960 when he was invited to perform in Las Vegas. That was followed by his first country made, “The Tips Of My Fingers.”
His biggest reached overall was “Yesterday When I Was a little girl, ” a covering of a French anthem by Charles Aznavour that Clark turned into a top 20 popping reached in 1969.
Clark was a staple on both radio and TV throughout the 1960 s, performing on nearly every variety show of that period.
In 1969, he got one of his own: “Hee Haw, ” a rural-themed variety show he co-hosted with Buck Owens on CBS.
When the network canceled the prove two-and-a-half years later, the programme moved into syndication and aired until 1992.
In 1976, he becomes one of the first country suns to tour the Soviet Union, and in 1983 he was the first country sun to open a theater in Branson, Missouri, according to USA Today . Branson has since become a major vacation destination known for its musical venues.
News of Clark’s death spurred Twitter tributes.
Clark is lived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara; his sister, Susan Coryell; five children and four grandchildren.
A memorial gala will be held in Tulsa at a later date.