RIP Roy Clark: ‘There will be pickin’ and grinnin’ in heaven’

Roy Clark

Guitar great Roy Clark died on Nov. 15, 2018, at the age of 85.

Editor’s note: Roy Clark, the legendary country singer and guitar player known for his eternal smile, died Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, following complications from pneumonia. He was 85. Writer Mike Wolcott reflected on Facebook:

He was as central of a figure in my childhood as ever existed. From “Cousin Roy” on “The Beverly Hillbillies” to all those years on “Hee-Haw” and, especially, a show at Konochti where I took my parents and, as he was walking off stage, walked back just to shake my father’s hand — a firm handshake with smiles and eye contact that said “We’ve got a little somethin’ in common, don’t we?” And oh, how he could play a guitar (and several other instruments).

One of the best musicians of this or any age and blended with a sense of humor unlike any other. If you didn’t laugh during “Thank God and Greyhound,” you have no funny bone at all; if you don’t cry every single time you hear “Yesterday When I Was Young,” you have no soul. RIP Roy Clark; say hi to Buck for me, because there will be pickin’ and grinnin’ in heaven tonight.

— Mike Wolcott

About Mike Wolcott

Mike Wolcott is the director of the Northern California Design Center and a 40-year newspaper veteran who has worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, the Eureka Times-Standard, Corning Daily Observer, Red Bluff Daily News and Digital First Media. His proudest musical moment came when he was scolded by Who bassist John Entwistle for making too much noise at a Roger Daltrey concert. He especially likes classic rock, classic old-time country, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Dylan and all three Hanks. Parsons calls him “Wally.” When he’s not slaying deadlines, you can find Wally playing guitar in a Corning-based cover band called Punches the Clown.

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