The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Charles Aznavour, Herbert Kretzmer)

Dot 17446

No. 19   August 2, 1969




By the time he was 11, Roy Linwood Clark (b. Apr. 15, 1933, Meherrin, VA) was already a hell of a

country picker.   His family had moved to Washington, DC, where his father was working as a computer

programmer.   Hes­ter Clark had been a tobacco farmer by day, but played guitar five nights a week in a

local country/bluegrass band.   The house was always full of music: there was a ukulele, a mandolin, a

banjo, and Ma’s piano.   Before Roy’s grammar school days were done, Hester Clark had taught his son

everything he knew about stringed instruments; Roy started sitting in on some of his dad’s gigs.   In 1951

and 1952, Clark won two consecutive National Banjo Championships.   The second win award­ed him an

appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.


Back in D.C., Clark tried out for the St. Louis Brown’s baseball club, won a string of boxing matches,

and-in his spare time-played at local bars.   Eventual­ly, he was offered a job as back-up guitarist for an

up­ and-coming country singer, Jimmy Dean.   Roy appeared on some of Dean’s ABC-TV spots, and then

secured a similar slot with “The George Hamilton TV Show.”


Clark’s early recorded efforts were issued on the Four Star, Debbie, and Coral labels.   After working as

the lead guitarist for MARVIN RAINWATER and Wanda (“The Female Elvis”) Jackson, Jackson’s

manager hooked Roy up with Capitol Records.   The pairing was quite fruitful, producing C & W hits like

“Tip of My Fingers” (1963), “Through the Eyes of Love” (1964), and “When the Wind Blows in Chicago”



Numerous country hits followed once Clark switched over to the Dot label in 1968.   His flashy guitar and

banjo licks adorned tunes that ranged in style from easy-listening to hard-core bluegrass; “Yesterday,

When I Was Young” was representative of much of his mater­ial, and just happened to be that one single

that crossed over to the Top 40.   He continued to rack up hit after country hit, with more than 50 of his

45s scoring on the C &W charts.


Roy has made many TV stops on talk and variety shows.   But perhaps he is best known for his long-run­-

ning appearances as co-host (with BUCK OWENS) of country music’s answer to “Laugh-In;’ “Hee Haw.”

He also guested as “Cousin Roy” and (in drag) as “Big Mama Halsey” on “The Beverly Hillbillies:’


Clark had been performing over 250 shows a year; was reportedly the highest-paid country concert star

between 1969 and 1971.   He worked the Las Vegas scene, and has occasionally hosted “The Tonight

Show.”   In 1973, the Country Music Association named Roy Clark “Entertainer of the Year.”