He was more than a mere musician. The late Roy Clark was an international treasure — a gifted multi-instrumentalist — a dizzying performer and a dazzling entertainer — one who has inspired legions of aspiring players for generations. In fact, even modern-day golden guitar god, John 5 (Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie), credits Clark as one of his greatest musical heroes.

For years, the Virginia native had been cementing a solid reputation as a budding young solo recording artist. His 1963 single, “Tips of My Fingers” was an enormous Top Ten country hit. But it was his co-hosting gig on the iconic music-driven variety show, Hee-Haw, that made Roy Clark an over-night household name in 1969.

Clark’s voice was as sweet and pure as local honey. And his impeccable “pickin’ and grinnin’” guitar/banjo style combined with his true blue, downhome likability made him a much-loved superstar. And throughout the ‘70s, the award-winning, legendary Grand Ole Opry member fired off a heart-stopping string of chart-busting country classics in rapid-fire succession.

“Roy left behind an outstanding reputation as a musician, singer
and comedian. He had earned the respect of his fellow performers and
the affection of international audiences. His was a life well lived.”
– Laurence Zwisohn (Producer)

To honor his legacy and commemorate his incredible body of recorded work, the fine folks over at Craft Recordings have just released, Greatest Hits — the definitive and only complete collection of Clark’s original hits currently in print.

The spectacular 18-track set features the aforementioned “Tips of My Fingers,” as well as the 1969 Top 20 crossover smash, “Yesterday, When I Was Young.” Additional signature standouts include the 1973 #1 country hit, “Come Live with Me” and the 1976 #2 country hit, “If I Had to Do it All Over Again.” For pickin’ purists, “Riders in the Sky” is a particular prize.

A virtual time travel vessel, Greatest Hits transports listeners to a simpler, more organic era, back when country music still possessed authenticity and integrity. “Thank God and Greyhound” is a glorious stylistic union of Floyd Cramer and Ray Price during a Ray Stevens songwriting seminar,  while “Magnificent Sanctuary Band” oozes old school R&B-style, Gospel-flavored appeal. And if the innocent, irresistible sing-along, “Honeymoon Feelin’” doesn’t fill your heart with joy, well, you just might be a miserable ol’ cuss.

In sum, Roy Clark’s Greatest Hits doesn’t sound fresh or current. Truth be told, it’s as dated as an episode of Petticoat Junction. But that’s what makes it special. That’s what makes it important. That’s what makes it such a heartfelt feel-good — just when it was needed the most.

Roy Clark’s Greatest Hits Track Listing:

1. Tips of My Fingers (3:09)
2. Yesterday, When I Was Young (3:20)
3. Right or Left at Oak Street (3:19)
4. Then She’s a Lover (3:38)
5. I Never Picked Cotton (2:34)
6. Thank God and Greyhound (2:38)
7. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (3:44)
8. The Lawrence Welk-Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka (2:41)
9. Come Live with Me (2:59)
10. Riders in the Sky (2:42)
11. Somewhere Between Love and Tomorrow (3:17)
12. Honeymoon Feelin’ (2:54)
13. The Great Divide (2:49)
14. Heart to Heart (2:48)
15. If I Had to Do it All Over Again (2:38)
16. Think Summer (3:28)
17. I Have a Dream, I Have a Dream (3:01)
18. Chain Gang of Love (2:25)

Run Time: 55:06
Release Date: September 18, 2020
Record Label: Craft Recordings

Christopher Long is a celebrated author, entertainment writer, TV / radio contributor, award-winning musician and international missionary. Referred to once as "the rock and roll Erma Bombeck," Long is known for his conversational, common sense writing style and possessing a passion for sharing his unique pop culture perspectives. Raised in Missouri's rugged Ozark Mountains and on Florida's sunny Space Coast, Christopher Long currently lives near Cocoa Beach. (AuthorChristopherLong@yahoo.com)