Roy Clark, a Country Music Hall of Fame member celebrated equally for his sense of humor and his instrumental wizardry, died due to complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. on Thursday (Nov. 15). He was 85.
Apart from his long string of country hits (1963-1989), Clark was a major television personality, both as co-host with Buck Owens of the Hee Haw music and comedy series (1969-1994) and as a frequent guest and substitute host on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Roy Linwood Clark was born April 15, 1933, in Meherrin, Va. He grew up in an economically poor but musically rich family. His father, Hester Clark, performed semi-professionally and played guitar, fiddle and banjo, as soon would his son.
In addition to opening up primetime television, casinos and symphony halls to country music, Clark also took it into other places it was seldom heard — from Carnegie Hall to Madison Square Garden. In 1976, he became one of the first country artists to perform in the Soviet Union.