One of the most influential and popular personalities in entertainment, Roy Clark has been celebrated, not only as a performer but as one of the notable figures who played a very big role in popularizing the country music genre. Roy’s prowess did not stop at country music, he was equally proficient in other genres like bluegrass, classical guitar, Latin music and pop. His hit tracks as a pop singer include When I was Young and a lot more. His instrumental expertise had a far-reaching effect on generations of country and bluegrass musicians.
Apart from his musical stint, Roy Clark was once known as the host of a national TV country variety show titled Hee Haw from 1969 to 1997. The crooner bagged several awards and nominations for his efforts in the entertainment industry one of which is Entertainer of the Year, Academy of Country Music. In 2009, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, his induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame came in 2011 but earlier in 2007, the singer’s induction into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame became a reality. In 2009, Roy joined the Grand Ole Opry, his autobiography titled My Life in Spite of Myself was published in 1994.
Roy Clark – Bio
Roy was born in Meherrin, Virginia on the 15th of April 1933, he is of American nationality but his ethnicity is not known. The singer was named Roy Linwood Clark at birth. He comes from a large family made up of five kids born to Lillian Clark (mother) and Hester Clark (father). His dad catered to the needs of his family through his tobacco farming, Roy’s formative years were split between New York and Meherrin when his dad had to relocate the family to be able to get employment during the Great Depression. When he turned 11, his family relocated to a home on 1st Street SE in the Washington Highlands neighbourhood of Washington, D.C, following his dad’s success in getting employment at the Washington Navy Yard.
Apart from his paid employment, his dad was an amateur musician, competent with musical instruments like the guitar, fiddle and the banjo. On her own part, Roy’s mum Lillian was also into music, she has competence in playing the piano. Growing up, the first musical instrument Roy Clark played was something he picked-up in elementary school – a four-string cigar box with a ukelele neck attached to it. At age 14, his dad tutored him on handling the guitar and before long, the young Roy was already an expert with the mandolin, the guitar, as well as the banjo. He achieved his high school education at Chamberlain Vocational High School located in Washington D.C where he graduated from in 1951.
After his death, Roy’s net worth was listed as $1 million by a reliable source. Between 1969 to 1971, the country music icon was reportedly one of the highest earners in country concert. Thus, the great singer had the resources to live a lavish life during his lifetime. At the young age of 23, Roy Clark acquired a pilot certificate, he went ahead to buy a 1953 Piper Tri-Pacer (N1132C) and after many years, he donated it to charity – Wings of Hope, on the 17th of December 2012. Roy acquired other planes like; Mitsubishi MU-300 Diamond 1A business jet, Stearman PT-17 as well as Mitsubishi MU-2.
His wealth emanated mainly from his singing career but he was also involved in advertisements and endorsements for Heritage Guitars which produced a signature model, he also did an endorsement for Mosrite, Gretsch. Roy Clark came in as the spokesperson for Hunt’s ketchup in the 1980s. The late singer also possessed some business acumen, He was the owner of Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre located in Branson Missouri which made him the first country star to set-up his own venue at that location. He later sold the theatre.
Although their identity is not known, we gathered that the late singer had a total of five children, just like his parents. All his five offsprings came from his marriage to his wife Barbara Joyce Rupard whom he married on the 31st of August 1957. Barbara remained his wife till his demise in 2018. Until his death, his family lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they had Roy Clark Elementary School named after him in 1978.
When And How Did He Die?
At the time of his demise, Roy Clark had already attained the grand age of 85 but the immediate cause of his death was recorded as complications from Pneumonia. The veteran singer passed on at his Tulsa residence in Oklahoma Texas on the 15th of November 2018. Left to mourn him are his widow and five children.