Roy Linwood Clark

BIOGRAPHY – Roy Linwood Clark

Roy Linwood Clark was born April 15, 1933 in Meherrin, Virginia. Roy is a Country guitarist best known for performing with several well-known artists as well as hosting the nationally televised variety show “Hee Haw.”

Roy was born in Meherrin, Virginia, but he grew up in Staten Island, New York, and as a teenager, lived in Washington D.C where his father worked at the Washington Navy Yard. Clark began playing the banjo, guitar, and mandolin at 14. By the time he was 15, he had won two National Banjo Championships. Before he began his career in music, he pursued a sports career. At first he was interested in baseball, then boxing. He quit pursuing that career and switched to music full time. When he was 17, he made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1955, Roy was a regular on Jimmy Dean’s Washington D.C television program. He was soon fired by Dean for constantly being late. In 1960, Roy went to Las Vegas where he played guitar for Hank Penny. During the early ’60s he also played in Wanda Jackson’s backing band. During the same time period, Jimmy Dean went on to host “The Tonight Show”, where he asked Roy to make an appearance. This was the first time he was introduced to a national audience. In 1963, Roy signed with Capitol Records and had three top 10 hits. He then switched to Dot Records, then ABC Records, and then MCA Records.

In 1969, Roy and Buck Owens began hosting “Hee Haw.” In 1971 the show was dropped by CBS Television but continued to run in syndication for another twenty-one years. During its tenure, Roy was a member of the Million Dollar Band.

Roy has also appeared on both television and film a number of times and he has also appeared in comedy sketches.

Roy has endorsed Mosrite and Gretsch guitars among others. He currently endorses Heritage Guitars, which has made a Roy Clark model.