This movie poster is for sale at the Adams Antique Mall in Adams, TN. Visit my eBay store to see if I have other Hee Haw collectibles for sale.

Roy Acuff

Sept. 15, 1903 (Maynardville, TN) - Nov. 23, 1992 (Nashville, TN)

"The King of Country Music"

I am not sure where I got this picture, but I have had it a long time. If you know who owns this picture let me know. - Marisa

 

Roy Claxton Acuff was known for many years as the patriarch of the Grand Ole Opry. Most of today's young fans barely realize his impact on country music. Long before "Hee Haw," he was entertaining audiences around the world, not only as a singer but as a bandleader - an "MC" of sorts.

During his teenage years, Roy was an outstanding baseball player. His talents caught the eye of a New York professional team, who offered him a contract. His baseball career was cut short by three sunstrokes. At that time, recovery from serious illness usually meant refrain from all physical activity. During the long (two years!) and tedious sedentary period, Roy received a fiddle. He soon learned that playing was a wonderful outlet for his depression and frustration. He began to realize that perhaps this newfound pleasure could be an answer to his prayers. He incorporated vocal practice into his daily rehearsals as well.

Traveling medicine shows were popular in those days, and that was how young Roy Acuff got his start in the music business. After a time of doing these shows, he organized the Smoky Mountain Boys and headed to Nashville. In 1938 he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

After many years on the road, Roy purchased some land near Clarksville, TN. This tract was the site of a large cave, called Dunbar Cave. For several years Roy and his band, as well as many other performers, entertained guests with music and dancing. The cave is now a State Historic Park, and the city of Clarksville has grown to include it within its borders.

These photos were taken at Dunbar Cave in the spring of 2001. These days the mouth of the cave, where bands once performed, is a fun place for families to explore on sunny afternoons.

In his later years of life, Roy was a constant presence in Opryland, USA, even living on the grounds. He died of congestive heart failure at the age of 89.

 

Links:

Roy Acuff - from the American Studies program at the University of Virginia

Classicphotos.com picture of Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl

 

Buy Roy's CD's from Amazon.com

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and his book, too...

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