Roy Clark, ‘Hee Haw’ Host And Renowned Musician, Dies At 85 | Nashville Public Radio

Roy Clark, ‘Hee Haw’ Host And Renowned Musician, Dies At 85

Nov 15, 2018

Roy Clark, one of the hosts of the country music variety show Hee Haw and a legendary Nashville musician, has died.

Clark was 85 years old and died in Tulsa, Okla., of complications from pneumonia, according to his publicist.

Clark was best known as the folksy co-host of Hee Haw, which featured sketches about rural life and plenty of country music. He hosted the show for more than two decades, and his co-star for many of those years was Buck Owens.

"They had this idea for a musical variety show, not unlike Laugh-In, but it would be country," Clark said in an interview with Time Life, remembering how his agent introduced the concept to him. "He said, 'Well, they're calling it Hee Haw. ... It's a working title. I'm sure that by the time they go on the air, they'll come up with a better name."

Clark was also an accomplished musician in his own right. He played a slew of instruments, including guitar, banjo and mandolin. 

Clark was born in Virginia in 1933, but his family soon moved to Washington, D.C., where he began his musical career as a teenager. He dropped out of school at 15 to play music.

His home base later became Tulsa, and he was inducted as a member of Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.