Remembering Country Music Legend Roy Clark
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Family, friends, and fans gathered in Broken Arrow to remember the life of country music star Roy Clark. Clark died Thursday, November 15th. "Roy Clark's Celebration of Life" memorial took place at Rhema Bible Church at 1025 West Kenosha in Broken Arrow.
Roy Clark died at his Tulsa home at the age of 85 from complications of pneumonia. News On 6 spoke to Vince Gill who performed at the service.
"I would see him as a little boy with my dad, I couldn't have been more than 8,9 or 10 years old, something like that maybe," said Gill. "And my dad talked about that for his whole life, getting to go see Roy Clark with me. He talked about this one time when Roy would take his boot and he'd play a little boogie-woogie with his big toe. My dad says I've played my whole life, and he played better with his big toe than I can with 10 hands."
Clark was known for playing the guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, and other instruments. His hits include "Yesterday When I was Young" and "Honeymoon Feeling."
Roy Clark also headlined the TV show "Hee Haw" for nearly a quarter century. He also wowed audiences with performances all over the world and only recently stopped performing.
Clark's funeral was a singalong and while there were tears, Roy's friends said he insisted on a celebration. At one time, more than 30 performers were on stage playing tribute including Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Larry, and Rudy Gatlin.
"I don't know if I've ever met a nicer person, much less a nicer person in our business. He was just a great guy," said Rudy Gatlin.
"He would always build you up and tell you, you're doing great. People love you and just keep doing what you're doing," said Skaggs.
And when it comes to family, long time manager Jim Halsey was a close as anyone.
"And he opened the doors. And everybody in country music today is benefitting from his early pioneering," said Halsey
Clark was one of country music's most accomplished performers. He was named Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards in 1973 and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
He was also a Grammy winner and a member of the Grand Ole Opry, but he'll be remembered for the way he treated people and what he did to give back.
"And he was the exact same way in person as he was in television, and funny and clever and creative just an incredible talent," said Jeff Moore with the OK Pop Museum.
"The first thing that you ever took away from being around Roy was how kind he was," said Gill.
Instead of flowers, Clark's family is asking that all contributions be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. That's a group that Roy Clark worked with and supported.