Brad Paisley Remembers Roy Clark: ‘He Was a Hero’
Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry member and former Hee Haw co-host Roy Clark influenced countless musicians, including Brad Paisley. After news of Clark's death broke on Thursday (Nov. 15), Paisley shared fond memories of his "hero" on social media.
"Roy Clark shaped my path. My Papaw introduced me to his music as a toddler. Every Saturday we’d watch Hee Haw. My first guitar book was a Roy Clark guitar method. I practiced his style, then practiced making his facial expressions," Paisley reflects. "He was a hero. And so many have the same story."
In a subsequent tweet, Paisley notes that he is certainly not the only artist who cites Clark as such an influence -- "How many guitar players started with a Roy Clark guitar method book? How many guitars were sold to people wanting to play because of him? How many lives were made better because of his wit and joy?" he writes -- but Paisley's story differs in that he had the opportunity to perform with and befriend Clark.
In another tweet, Paisley fondly recalls performing with Clark during the opening medley at the 2016 CMA Awards. That performance featured a number of country legends and modern-day stars; Clark and Paisley shared the stage for "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail" in honor of Buck Owens.
"Right before this moment I was standing by Roy in the dark. I put my arm around him & told him I loved him. We both teared up," Paisley remembers. "Then the lights came on & we delivered that iconic Hee Haw opening line at the CMA 50th."
A few years earlier, Paisley recounts, the 2010 Nashville flood "wiped out most of my guitars." Clark came to the rescue.
"Roy heard about it & showed up at a show and gave me one of his [guitars]," shares Paisley. "This is who this man was. Constantly giving. I owe him so much."
Clark died at his home in Tulsa, Okla., due to complications from pneumonia, a press release reports. He was 85 years old.
Clark is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara; children Roy Clark II (Karen), Dr. Michael Meyer (Robin), Terry Lee Meyer, Susan Mosier and Diane Stewart; four grandchildren; and his sister, Susan Coryell. A memorial service, the details of which have yet to be announced, will take place in Tulsa.
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