Roy Linwood Clark is an American country music musician and performer. He is best known for hosting Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969?1992. Clark has been a popular figure in country music, both as a musician and as a popularizer of the genre. He is an entertainer most of all, with an amiable personality and a telegenic presence.
During the 1970s, Clark frequently guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and enjoyed a 30-million viewership for Hee Haw. Clark is highly regarded as both a guitarist and banjo player, and is also skilled in classical guitar as well as playing several other instruments. While he has had hit songs as a pop vocalist, his instrumental skill has had an enormous effect on succeeding generations of both bluegrass and country musicians. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and The Country Music Hall of Fame.
Born in Meherrin, Virginia, Clark grew up in Staten Island, New York and lived as a teenager in Washington, D.C. where his father worked at the Washington Navy Yard. At the age of 14, Clark began playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin, and he won two National Banjo Championships by the age of 15. He was simultaneously pursuing a sporting career, first as a baseball player, and then as a boxer, before switching over to music full time. At the age of 17, he had his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.
By the time he was fifteen he had already won the world banjo/guitar flatpick championship two times.