Roy Clark Dies At Age 85
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oklahoma's own legendary country music star Roy Clark has passed away at age 85, his publicist states. Jim Westby said Clark died Thursday due to complications from pneumonia at his home in Tulsa.
The master musician played the guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica and other instruments. He performed all over the world, including a 1976 tour of the Soviet Union.
Clark was chosen as a co-host on the CBS program Hee Haw in 1969. He hosted and performed on the hit show throughout its 25-year run.
Some of his top songs included "Yesterday, When I Was Young," "I Never Picked Cotton," and the record "Come Live with Me." He was awarded Entertainer of the Year by the CMA Awards in 1973 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
He was also a Grammy winner and member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Clark was a longtime Tulsa-area resident. Union Public School's Roy Clark Elementary School was named in his honor. News On 6 was at the school with Clark in 2014.
"Every time that I'm around young people, especially ones that go to the Roy Clark Elementary School, it makes me proud. And evidently, I've done some good things in my life, or I wouldn't be standing here today," Clark said.
Union issued the following statement:
Union Public Schools and Roy Clark Elementary would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to legendary country music artist Roy Clark, who has passed away.
Roy Clark Elementary celebrated its 40th anniversary on November 7, and honored the entertainer for his strong support of children and education. Roy Clark had visited his namesake school many times and donated his time and money to support children and education in the Tulsa community, attending nearly every major milestone in the school’s history.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum Tweeted that he grew up watching Clark on television and was intimidated when meeting him in person a few years ago.
"He was everything you hope your childhood heroes would be if you ever came across them in person. Thank you, Roy, for loving Tulsa & for being both a legend & a gentleman," he said.
"Roy Clark was one of the greatest ever. His spirit will never die. I loved him dearly and he will be missed." – Dolly Parton
"When I came to Nashville, Roy was one of my favorite stars. I loved the way he hosted the CMA's and Hee Haw. It was always an honor to be on the same stage with him. I am already missing Roy's big smile." – Crystal Gayle
"The Halsey family’s hearts are filled with gratitude for the many years (59) of friendship and business association. He was a rare combination of talent and generosity. Roy Clark brought a special kind of healing to the world. He will be missed by the multitudes. – Jim Halsey, friend and manager
"My story is not unique. How many guitar players started with a Roy Clark guitar method book? How many guitars were sold to people wanting to play because of him? How many lives were made better because of his wit and joy? I’m one of so many." – @BradPaisley
"My first CMA memory is sitting on my living room floor watching Roy Clark tear it up. Sending my love and respect to him and his family for all he did. - KU" - @KeithUrban
"Just got word that Roy Clark has passed. I’ve known him for 60 years and he was a fine musician and entertainer Rest In Peace Buddy, you will be remembered" – @CharlieDaniels