Craft Recordings is pleased to announce Roy Clark’s Greatest Hits—the defining and only collection of original hit recordings currently in print from one of country music’s most beloved personalities—is making its first appearance on CD and streaming services featuring 18 tracks. Set for release on September 18th and available to pre-order beginning today (8/3), the compilation showcases the Grand Ole Opry member’s ability to break new ground in country music and beyond.
Roy Clark (1933–2018) was not only a beloved personality on film and TV but also an influential figure in country music—helping to bring his genre to the masses. Born in Meherrin, Virginia, Clark first picked up a guitar at age 13, by age 14 had won two national banjo championships, and by 17 had made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. His prolific playing and ability to put a smile on everyone’s faces coalesced when he made his television debut as lead guitarist in the house band for Country Style, which would go on to become The Jimmy Dean Show, before finding success as a solo performer when he recorded a cover of Bill Anderson’s “The Tips of My Fingers,” which became his first Top Ten Hot Country single.
Over his 6-decade spanning career, the award-winning guitarist and banjoist scored multiple Top Ten Hot Country singles, such as the pop crossover smash hit “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” which charted for 25 weeks and peaked at number 8 on Billboard, “Thank God and Greyhound,” and the number 1 hit “Come Live With Me”—all of which are included on Greatest Hits. Clark, who was a frequent guest-host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, continued to see his star rise in 1969 when he became the co-host for Hee Haw—a variety show featuring country acts and comedy sketches centered on rural culture. As a host on Hee Haw from 1969 to 1997, Clark enjoyed a viewership of 30 million. Earning the respect of his peers, Clark would win CMA Entertainer of the Year in ’73 and Musician of the Year in ’77, ’78 and ’80. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Clark toured regularly, playing to packed theaters around the world—including 18 sold-out nights in the former USSR.
Clark’s legacy as a renowned multi-instrumentalist and entertainer crisscrossed the country world and beyond. Longtime reissue producer Laurence Zwisohn, who also penned the liner notes for the new compilation, shares: “Roy left behind an outstanding reputation as a musician, singer and comedian—a complete entertainer. He had earned the respect of his fellow performers and the affection of international audiences that always walked away from his concerts well entertained and with a smile on their faces. His was a life well-lived.” Notable country icons such as Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Charlie Daniels and Ray Benson have cited Clark as an inspiration, as well as guitarist John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson). The GRAMMY® Award-winning artist was later inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009 before his passing in 2018 at his adopted home of Tulsa, Oklahoma. 2019 brought renewed interest in Clark’s work, as he was posthumously featured in the Ken Burns–produced documentary mini-series, Country Music, chronicling the history and prominence of country music in American culture.
Click here to pre-order Roy Clark’s Greatest Hits.
1. Tips Of My Fingers
2. Yesterday, When I Was Young
3. Right Or Left At Oak Street
4. Then She's A Lover
5. I Never Picked Cotton
6. Thank God And Greyhound
7. Magnificent Sanctuary Band
8. The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka
9. Come Live With Me
10. Riders In The Sky
11. Somewhere Between Love And Tomorrow
12. Honeymoon Feelin'
13. The Great Divide
14. Heart To Heart
15. If I Had To Do It All Over Again
16. Think Summer
17. I Have A Dream, I Have A Dream
18. Chain Gang Of Love