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Roy Clark: Pickin’ & Grinnin’

Roy Clark celebrates two milestones this year—60 years as an entertainer and 50 years of marriage to wife Barbara. Roy reflects on some of his more memorable moments in this interview.

Roy’s first major hit single, “Tips of My Fingers,” peaked at No. 10 in 1963. He was slightly flabbergasted when the teen-oriented musical TV series American Bandstand booked him to perform the tune.

“The oldest person around me is 12,” Roy laughs. “[Show host] Dick Clark gave me a real nice buildup, and all the kids were very polite. I was scared to death that they were going to stare at me, like ‘What are you up to, Gramps?’ “

Roy is one of the few stars around today who can say that he played a show with the legendary Hank Williams. Roy was just a teenager at the time, but the memory still lingers.

“I did a show with Hank in 1948 in Baltimore. I was based in the Washington, D.C., area,” recalls Roy, a native of Meherrin, Va. “We opened the show with a square dance band and Hank was the big star. Cowboy Copas was also on the bill. Hank just stood there and sang, but he had a charisma about him. He just had this power. He walked by in front of me and he looked at me with those piercing eyes—it was a little intimidating.”