WKZU Updates Archives for 2018-11

Roy Clark Dead at 85!

Roy Clark Dead at 85!

"Before we go any farther, I want to lay somethin' on you; it's not heavy and it's not to imply that you don't already do it. It's just a reminder... to all of us.
 
The next chance you get, do somethin' nice for somebody - say 'good day,' hold a door open - and don't wait around for a thank you... you don't need it. And because of you, that person will go out and do something nice for somebody, and then that person will go out and do something nice for someone else, and this whole world can wind up doing nice things for each other and we can be the ones that start it.
 
It takes all of us working together to get things done - no one does it alone. Only One did and I'm not that strong. Let's start it - here's to love - it's still the best!" - Roy Clark

 

TULSA, Okla. – Roy Clark, the  legendary 'superpicker', GRAMMYCMA and ACM award winner, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member and co-host of the famed 'Hee Haw' television series, died today at the age of 85 due to complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla.

Roy Clark’s decade-defying success could be summed up in one word — sincerity. Sure, he was one of the world’s finest multi-instrumentalists, and one of the first cross-over artists to land singles on both the pop and country charts. He was the pioneer who turned Branson, Mo., into the live music capitol of the world (the Ozark town today boasts more seats than Broadway). And his talents turned Hee Haw into the longest-running syndicated show in television history.

But the bottom line for Roy Clark was the honest warmth he gave to his audiences. Bob Hope summed it up when he told Roy, “Your face is like a fireplace.”

“A TV camera goes right through your soul,” says the man who starred on Hee Haw for 24 years and was a frequent guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. “If you’re a bad person, people pick that up. I’m a firm believer in smiles. I used to believe that everything had to be a belly laugh. But I’ve come to realize that a real sincere smile is mighty powerful.”

For a man who didn’t taste major success until he was 30, the key was not some grand plan but rather taking everything in its own time. “Sure,” he said, “I had dreams of being a star when I was 18. I could’ve pushed it too, but it wouldn’t have happened any sooner. I’m lucky. What’s happened has happened in spite of me.”

In fact, that’s what Clark titled his autobiography, My Life — In Spite of Myself!with Marc Elliot (Simon & Shuster, 1994). The book reminded many that there is much more to Roy Clark than fast fingers and a quick wit.

That he was raised in Washington, D.C., often surprises people. Born Roy Linwood Clark on April 15, 1933 in Meherrin, Virginia, his family moved to D.C. when he was a youngster. His father played in a square dance band and took him to free concerts by the National Symphony and by various military bands. "I was subjected to different kinds of music before I ever played. Dad said, 'Never turn your ear off to music until your heart hears it--because then you might hear something you like.'"

Beginning on banjo and mandolin, he was one of those people "born with the music already in them." His first guitar, a Sears Silvertone, came as a Christmas present when he was 14. That same year, 1947, he made his first TV appearance. He was 15 when he earned $2 for his first paid performance, with his dad's band. In the fertile, diverse musical soil of cosmopolitan D.C., he began playing bars and dives on Friday and Saturday nights until he was playing every night and skipping school--eventually dropping out at 15. "Music was my salvation, the thing I loved most and did best. Whatever was fun, I'd go do that."

The guitar wizard soon went on tour with country legends such as Hank Williams and Grandpa Jones. After winning a national banjo competition in 1950, he was invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, which led to shows with Red Foley and Ernest Tubb. Yet he'd always return to D.C. to play not only country but jazz, pop, and early rock'n'roll (he's prominently featured in the recent book Capitol Rock); to play with black groups and white groups; to play fast, to even play guitar with his feet. In 1954, he joined Jimmy Dean and the Texas Wildcats, appearing in clubs and on radio and TV, and even backing up Elvis Presley.

But in 1960, he was 27 and still scrambling. An invitation to open for Wanda Jackson at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas proved to be his big break. It led to his own tour, on the road for 345 straight nights at one stretch, and when he returned to Vegas in 1962, he came back as a headliner and recording star, with his debut album The Lightning Fingers Of Roy Clark. The next year, he had his first hit, The Tips Of My Fingers, a country song that featured an orchestra and string section. "We didn't call it crossover then but I guess that's what it was," he says. "We didn't aim for that, because if you aim for both sides you miss them both. But we just wanted to be believable."

He was--on record and on TV, where his first appearances in 1963 on 'The Tonight Show' and 'American Bandstand' showcased his easygoing attitude and rural sense of humor. "Humor is a blessing to me. My earliest recollections are of looking at something and seeing the lighter side. But it's always spontaneous. I couldn't write a comedy skit for someone else."

Throughout the '60s, Clark recorded several albums, toured constantly, and appeared on TV variety shows from Carson to Mike Douglas to Flip Wilson. "I was the token bumpkin. It became, 'Let's get that Clark guy. He's easy to get along with.'" Then came 'Hee Haw.' A countrified 'Laugh-In' with music, shot in Nashville, 'Hee Haw' premiered in 1969. Co-starring Clark and Buck Owens, it was an immediate hit. Though CBS canceled the show after two-and-a-half years, despite ranking in the Top 20, the series segued into syndication, where it remained until 1992. "I long ago realized it was not a figure of speech when people come up to me and say they grew up watching me since they were 'that big'."

A generation or two has also grown up listening to him. In 1969, Yesterday, When I Was Young charted Top 20 Pop and #9 Country (Billboard). Including Yesterday,Clark has had 23 Top 40 country hits, among them eight Top 10s: The Tips Of My Fingers (#10, 1963), I Never Picked Cotton (#5) and Thank God And Greyhound You're Gone (#6, 1970), The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter Revolution Polka(#9, 1972), Come Live With Me (#1) and Somewhere Between Love And Tomorrow(#2, 1973), and If I Had It To Do All Over Again (#2, 1976). In addition, his 12-string guitar rendition of Malaguena is considered a classic and, in 1982, he won a Grammy (Best Country Instrumental Performance) for Alabama Jubilee.

A consummate musician, no matter the genre, he co-starred with Petula Clark at Caesar's Palace, became the first country artist to headline at the Montreux International Jazz Festival and appeared in London on 'The Tom Jones Show.' Clark was amazed when guitarists from England credited his BBC specials and performances on variety TV shows with the likes of the Jackson 5 for inspiring them to play. But the highlight of his career, he said, was a pioneering, sold-out 1976 tour of the then-Soviet Union. "Even though they didn't know the words, there were tears in their eyes when I played Yesterday. Folks there said we wouldn't realize in our lifetime the good we'd accomplished, just because of our pickin' around."

When he returned in 1988 to now-Russia, Clark was hailed as a hero. Though he'd never bought a joke and doesn't read music, the self-described, and proud of it, "hillbilly singer" was that rare entertainer with popularity worthy of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and respect worthy of the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award and membership in the Gibson (Guitar) Hall of Fame; an entertainer who could star in Las Vegas (the first country artist inducted into its Entertainers Hall of Fame), in Nashville (becoming the 63rd member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1987), and at Carnegie Hall. Roy was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

Roy’s many good deeds on behalf of his fellow man led to him receiving the 1999 Minnie Pearl Humanitarian of the Year Award from TNN’s Music City News Awards. In October, 2000, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, and he was actively involved with school children who attend the Roy Clark Elementary School in Tulsa, Okla.

From his home in Tulsa, where he moved in 1974 with Barbara, his wife of 61 years, Clark continued to tour extensively. For him — and for his legion of loyal fans — live performance was what it was all about. “Soon as you hit the edge of the stage and see people smiling and know they’re there to hear you, it’s time to have fun. I keep a band of great young people around me, and we’re not musically restrained. It’s not about ‘let’s do it correct’ but ‘let’s do it right.’”

At the end of each of Roy’s concerts, he would tell the audience, “We had to come, but you had a choice. Thanks for being here.” With responding smiles, audiences continued to thank Roy for being there, too.

Roy is preceded in death by his beloved grandson Elijah Clark who passed at the age of fourteen on September 24, 2018. Roy is survived by Barbara, his wife of sixty-one years, his sons Roy Clark II and wife Karen, Dr. Michael Meyer and wife Robin, Terry Lee Meyer, Susan Mosier and Diane Stewart, and his grandchildren: Brittany Meyer, Michael Meyer, Caleb Clark, Josiah Clark and his sister, Susan Coryell.

A memorial celebration will be held in the coming days in Tulsa, Okla., details forthcoming.

 

Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Tour

The Oak Ridge Boys Kick Off Their Annual Christmas Tour In Branson, Missouri

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – GRAMMY® Award-winning and Country Music Hall of Fame members, The Oak Ridge Boys, will once again celebrate the Christmas season with their timeless hits and holiday classics on their 2018 Shine The Light On Christmas Tour. This year's tour will take the legendary group to 32 cities in 18 states, and kicks off tonight in Branson, Missouri.

Each year The Oak Ridge Boys’ Christmas tour plays to packed houses across America. Blending a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs—including religious, romantic, and fun holiday tunes—The Oak Ridge Boys’ set list will take their audiences on a hit-filled musical roller coaster ride of holiday cheer from their six best selling Christmas album catalog.

“The Shine The Light On Christmas Tour this year will be our 29th annual Christmas tour,” says Oaks’ Joe Bonsall. “We will sing hit songs for 40 minutes and after a short intermission our full production Christmas show takes over the stage with music celebrating every aspect of the holiday season, from Santa Claus to celebrating the birth of Jesus. Our production is all new and fresh this year and we are more excited than ever to be bringing this very special family event to your town!”

The group—Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban—are best known for their iconic and multi-platinum hit “Elvira,” along with other chart-toppers like “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “Y’All Come Back Saloon,” and “American Made.” The Oak Ridge Boys have achieved a decorated career, winning five GRAMMY® Awards, multiple CMA, ACM and Dove Awards for their crossover brand of pop, country and gospel music that spans multiple generations. The Oak Ridge Boys became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 2011 and achieved arguably country music’s highest honor in October 2015 when they were inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
 

The Oak Ridge Boys Shine The Light On Christmas Tour:
NOV 14 The Mansion Theatre / Branson, Mo.
NOV 15 The Mansion Theatre / Branson, Mo.
NOV 16 The Midland Theatre / Newark, Ohio
NOV 17 Vern Riffe Center for the Arts / Portsmouth, Ohio
NOV 18 The Maryland Theatre / Hagerstown, Md.
NOV 23 The Arena at Southeastern KY Agricultural and Expo Complex / Corbin, Ky.
NOV 24 Honeywell Center / Wabash, Ind.
NOV 25 Rialto Square Theater / Joliet, Ill.
NOV 26 Pablo Center at the Confluence / Eau Claire, Wis.
NOV 27 Bridge View Center / Ottumwa, Iowa
NOV 28 Topeka Performing Arts Center / Topeka, Kan.
NOV 29 United Wireless Arena at Boot Hill Casino & Resort / Dodge City, Kan.
NOV 30 Cheyenne Civic Center / Cheyenne, Wyo.
DEC 01 Alberta Bair Theater / Billings, Mont.
DEC 02 Clearwater River Casino & Lodge / Lewiston, Idaho
DEC 03 Morrison Center / Boise, Idaho
DEC 05 First Interstate Center for the Arts / Spokane, Wash.
DEC 06 Toyota Center / Kennewick, Wash.
DEC 07 Chinook Winds Casino Resort / Lincoln City, Ore.
DEC 08 Chinook Winds Casino Resort / Lincoln City, Ore.
DEC 09 Little Creek Casino Resort / Shelton, Wash.
DEC 10 Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort / Suquamish, Wash.
DEC 12 Jensen Grand Concert Hall / Pocatello, Idaho
DEC 13 Southern Utah University / Cedar City, Utah
DEC 14 DeJoria Center / Kamas, Utah
DEC 15 Vilar Performing Arts Center / Beaver Creek, Colo.
DEC 16 Budweiser Events Center / Loveland, Colo.
DEC 17 Casper Events Center / Casper, Wyo.
DEC 18 Rushmore Plaza Civic Center / Rapid City, S.D.
DEC 19 Mary W. Sommervold Hall at Washington Pavilion / Sioux Falls, S.D.
DEC 20 Adler Theatre / Davenport, Iowa
DEC 21 Crystal Grand Music Theater / Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
DEC 22 Crouse Performance Hall / Lima, Ohio
DEC 23 Schermerhorn Symphony Center / Nashville, Tenn.
For entire tour schedule, please click here.
 

T. Graham Brown

T. Graham Brown Duets With Joanne Cash On New Gospel Song

Nashville, TN. - Grammy nominated country, gospel and soul singer T. Graham Brown recently recorded “I Am The One,” a duet with Joanne Cash penned by Tim LeClaire, Trent LeClaire and producer Chad Randall Crow for her latest album, 'Unbroken,' released September 14th. Cash's 32nd gospel album is filled with duets and also features Crystal Gayle, the Bellamy Brothers, Ashley Cleveland, Phil Keaggy, Rosanne Cash, Lulu Roman, Donna Fargo, For King & Country, John Carter Cash & Tommy Cash and The Oak Ridge Boys.

This is T. Graham Brown's second duet with Cash, the first titled "God's Gonna Cut You Down" from her 2015 gospel album 'Breaking Down The Barriers.' That project also included duets with Rosanne Cash, Razzy Bailey, Larry Gatlin and others.

“I met Joanne Cash several years ago when she asked me to sing at a Sunday service of the Nashville Cowboy Church. She and her husband, Dr. Harry Yates, founded this church that combines music and ministry and has grown to be one of the most attended Cowboy churches in the country," said T. Graham. "I’ve returned again and again on Sunday mornings to join them for music and fellowship, as do so many artists and musicians in Nashville."

Cash and T. Graham also filmed a video for "I Am The One" at the beautifulStoryteller's Hideaway Farm & Museum, Johnny Cash’s rural home just west of Nashville in Bon Aqua, Tennessee.

"When I heard the song she selected for this new album I knew it was a special song and I had to do it. “I Am The One” started to get a lot of great response and Joanne decided that she’d like to film a music video. She chose the 100 acre farm filled with lush, green pasture, thick woodlands, ponds and a rustic stage, and it was perfect. We spent the day filming there and had the best time. Joanne Cash is a devout Christian woman, a significant singer/songwriter and I’m proud to say, a dear friend."

T. Graham also recently celebrated his 64th birthday Tuesday, October 30th and posted a heartfelt thanks to his fans and friends on his Facebook page:
 

"Thanks for all the positive vibrations that you send my way all of the time. Sheila and I pray that God will continue to Bless you all so that you can live the life that He intends for you. It's the only way to fly!

I have the best job in the world. I get to make folks happy for a living and I'm thankful for that gift, every day!"


This holiday season, fans can find Christmas music with a soulful country sound on 'Christmas With T. Graham Brown.' This is his first Christmas album, available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations nationwide and everywhere digital music is found. The project, produced by Brown and Tony Griffith, is released by Mansion Entertainment, distributed by The Orchard (a division of Sony Music) and can be streamed or purchased here.

 

 

Dave Rowland Dead at 74

Dave Rowland of Dave & Sugar Dead at 74

Nashville, Tenn. – Dave Rowland, born January 26, 1944, known to many in the music business as the founder and lead singer of hit-making group Dave & Sugar died November 1, 2018 in Nashville, due to complications from a stroke.
 
Before forming Dave & Sugar, Rowland was part of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet (who was touring with Elvis Presley at the time), and later the Four Guys. The Stamps Quartet was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1988. He also was a prominent member of Country Music Hall of Fame member Charley Pride's road show.
 
By 1975, with Pride looking for a backup band, Rowland hired Jackie Frantz and Vicki Hackeman, and Dave & Sugar was formed.
 
After signing on with Pride's management team, Dave & Sugar signed with RCA Records and recorded their first album. The trio's first single, "Queen of the Silver Dollar" (written by Shel Silverstein) broke into the Top 25 of Billboard magazine's country singles chart in early 1976. Their second single "The Door Is Always Open," shot straight to the number one spot on the country charts, a driving, lushly produced track which expertly combined Rowland's resonant baritone with soaring harmonies.
 
Two successive singles, "I'm Gonna Love You,” and "Don't Throw It All Away," used the same basic formula as "The Door Is Always Open," and also became huge hits in 1976-77. Their peak run garnered nearly one dozen Top 10 singles, including two more No. 1 hits - "Tear Time" (1978) and "Golden Tears" (1979). Overall, Dave & Sugar charted 16 times on the Billboard country charts.
 
Dave & Sugar was a slick sounding, soulful vocal trio that during their heyday was labeled "the country ABBA." Although their career was much shorter lived than that of Bjorn and crew, Dave & Sugar did share the Swedish group's knack for catchy tunes, sparkling production, and full, rich, male/female vocal arrangements. Their touring took them throughout North America, Europe, New Zealand and Italy, where the group played a command performance for the Mayor of Rome.

Rowland also toured with Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, Jr., Waylon Jennings, and Barbara Mandrell and was an opening act for Kenny Rogers for two years.
 
Rowland disbanded the trio briefly during the early 1980s to try a solo career, releasing an album entitled (appropriately) Sugar Free and charting two singles of his own. Rowland later reformed the trio with two new sets of "Sugar" partners.
 
Dave Rowland is survived by his wife Terri Rowland, mother Ruby Rowland and sister Donna Fort and her husband Bob, of Palm Desert, Calif., sister-in-law Angie Billis of Nashville, Tenn., niece Vicki Martinka and husband John in Pennsylvania, and nephew Bobby Fowler and wife Belen and their two children in Argentina.
 
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in the name of Dave Rowland be sent to the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. In 2014, Rowland was honored by the Music City Tennis Invitational in recognition of four decades of event participation with proceeds to benefit the hospital.

Arrangements are pending for a celebration of life service.

 

 

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