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Roy Clark of 'Hee Haw' Fame Has Passed Away

17 November 2018

Country music trailblazer and Hee Haw host Roy Clark has died at his home in Tulsa, Okla., his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday.

The cause of death was complications from pneumonia.

Mr. Clark was a genial banjo-wielding presence on Hee Haw for the show's entire run of more than two decades, serving as an ambassador for country music and the culture that defined it. He most recently made an appearance at the 2016 CMA Awards, where he paid tribute to former Hee Haw co-host Buck Owens. At the peak of its popularity, in the seventies, it reached 30 million viewers a week. He also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and on sitcoms such as The Beverly Hillbillies and The Odd Couple, and had a long-running stage act in Las Vegas. The album featured rollicking electric-guitar instrumentals, including "Texas Twist", and it was followed that same year by Clark's first hit song, "The Tip of My Fingers", written by country singer Bill Anderson. In 1976 he headlined a tour of the Soviet Union, breaking boundaries that were usually closed to Americans.

Clark toured with Jones, the banjo player, and appeared on television programs including "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" before joining Jackson's group in 1960.

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As a teenager, Clark had a brief stint working a show fronted by Hank WIlliams.

"Roy Clark shaped my path", Paisely said in another Tweet. Clark took up the banjo, guitar, and mandolin (and, later, fiddle and harmonica) at age 14, and by age 15 he was not only playing in his father's square-dance band but had won several national and global banjo championships.

Roy began accompanying his father at local square dances as an adolescent.

Clark has been performing since the age of 14, and was one of the first artists to land singles on both the pop and country charts. and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

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One of the legends of country music, guitarist and singer Roy Clark, has died.

In 1982, Clark won a Grammy for best country instrumental performance for "Alabama Jubilee". Eleven years later, he published his autobiography, My Life - in Spite of Myself! In addition to corny jokes and recurring sketches, the show was also an important feature for country music performers.

He's survived by his wife, Barbara, and his five children. A grandson, Elijah Clark, died in September.

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Roy Clark of 'Hee Haw' Fame Has Passed Away