• Robert Scovill

Roy Clark "In Concert"

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

The boy prodigy, Roy Clark just shows up everywhere in my memory banks.

"And as a kid, I, like many discovered Roy through television and more specifically through the show Hee Haw and his legendary segment with Buck Owens called “Pickin and Grinnin”."

November 26th, In the immortal words of the late great Harry Caray “Hello everybody everyone” and welcome to “Memoriam Monday” here on the Live Vinyl Lovefest. As many of you know the great Roy Clark recently passed away and there has been a great outpouring of respect and reverence for Roy’s abilities not only as a player but as a comedian. The web has been filled with videos of him making guest spots on television shows all through out his career. While out on a vinyl quest with my son Jackson Scovill recently, I stumbled upon a Roy Clark live album. Honestly, I didn’tt know it even existed which kind of added to my inquisitiveness about this incredibly talented player. So, I pulled it out this morning and tossed it on the platter in order to pay my own little tribute here.

Roy was a “lifer”. He was a national banjo champion at age 8, Yes, most definitely a prodigy. As he grew both as a man and a player he became well versed in many instruments including violin along with many styles of music — including Latin music. He actually had a couple of hit songs as a vocalist, which until I started to research him on the web, I had forgotten about. “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and “Thank God and Greyhound” were both hit pop songs. He also published his autobiography in 1994 titled “My Life In Spite of Myself” A fantastic title which I may have to add to my reading list.

But ironically it is with comedy that Roy actually made his most universally visible mark. Until I did some digging on him I had completely forgotten about his appearance on the Beverly Hillbillies as “Myrtle Halsey”. And as a kid, I, like many discovered Roy through television and more specifically through the show Hee Haw and his legendary segment with Buck Owens called “Pickin and Grinnin”. That show was a weekly mandate at my grandparents house.

So this live recording, as expected, is a balance of music, guitar prowess and comedy. It’s very cabaret in many ways. I did a lot of shows with Wayne Newton in my very early days and the “format” of Roy’s show reminds me a lot of Wayne’s shows. Even though this record is clearly a concert recording, it plays very much like a TV variety show. They (Roy and Wayne) both had this way of using comedy as kind of a way to show humility to the audience and “let them in” and not intimidate them by showing off their playing talents.

The record itself is very well recorded and mixed by producer and engineer Jim Foglesong using Wally Heider Recorders. And, as many records of this era have shown, the engineers of this era knew how to record an audience. No signs of a canned audience on this record. I’m really happy I picked it up and added it my live vinyl collection. it’s a solid representation of Roy at the height of his career.

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