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Hee Haw star Roy Clark has died

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/15/18, 01:08 pm

Roy Clark, the musician and comedian who hosted the variety show Hee Haw for nearly a quarter century, died Thursday at his home in Tulsa, Okla., from complications of pneumonia, publicist Jeremy Westby said. He was 85. Clark played the guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and other instruments. He took up guitar as a teen and played with bands across the country before releasing popular singles such as “The Tips of My Fingers” (1963) and “Yesterday When I Was Young” (1969). He was host or co-host of the country music and comedy show Hee Haw throughout its 24 year run, which ended in 1992. He also guest-hosted The Tonight Show several times in the 1960s and 1970s when it was rare for a country performer to land such a role. He was one of the first country singers to open a theater in Branson, Mo., in 1983, and was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

Clark released several gospel albums and wrote in 1977 of how, as a struggling singer, he rededicated his life to God after his wife survived a dangerous illness. “Doing right, I realized now, was following God and really listening to Him—not to one’s own blind ambition,” Clark wrote. “That was the way to make it as a singer or as anything else—to put Him first.”

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • Big Jim
    Posted: Thu, 11/15/2018 02:59 pm

    “That was the way to make it as a singer or as anything else—to put Him first.”  Well put, Roy.