Roy Clark, who passed away in 2018 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a beloved American icon and country star who left an indelible legacy. Perhaps best known as the host of the TV show Hee Haw on CBS, the Virginia native and Country Music Hall of Fame member is credited with helping to popularize country music nationally, in part through his hosting of the aforementioned country music variety show. He's been seen performing everywhere from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and The Jimmy Dean Show, to Las Vegas, Nev. Branson, Mo. and The Grand Ole Opry. He's a Grammy winner and a Nashville legend. He was even a popular guest star on The Beverly Hillbillies.
Clark left an impression in a lot of different ways -- his country hits that topped the Billboard charts, his years as a co-host and guest host and being titled an International Friendship ambassador by the CMA for touring the Soviet Union -- but these performances reflect some of our best memories of the legendary guitar and banjo player.
1. "Yesterday, When I Was Young"
This song hits you right in the feels. The singer also sang this 1969 hit on The Muppet Show. It was Clark's only top 40 pop hit during his career, and he even performed it at Mickey Mantle's funeral at Mantle's personal request.
2. "The Tips of My Fingers"
The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark are on full display here. This cover of a Bill Anderson song was the singer's first charted single in 1963. Clark's version peaked at No. 10 and really helped put him on the map.
3. "I Never Picked Cotton"
"I Never Picked Cotton" was a top 5 hit and tells the story of an Oklahoma native.
4. "Alabama Jubilee"
Clark's instrumental version of "Alabama Jubilee" in 1981 won him the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance.
5. "Thank God and Greyhound"
This performance of "Thank God and the Greyhound" is from The Ed Sullivan Show, which was one of the most popular programs at the time. This man has played every iconic 20th Century American gig possible.