ROY ACUFF (AND THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN BOYS)
- From Maynardsville, Tennessee.
- Known as “The King of Country Music.” Originally called “The King of the Hillbillies.”
- A man of many talents: he was a professional baseball player, an actor in a touring medicine show, a recording artist with several million-sellers to his credit, a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years, a star of radio, television and movies, a co-founder of one of the most famous music publishing companies in the world, co-founder of a record company, candidate for Governor of Tennessee, owner of a recreational park, director of a museum, a Shriner, owner of a peacock hatchery, a songwriter, a musician, and the first living person elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- 1962, elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- 1936, first sang “The Great Speckled Bird,” at the Grand Ole Opry with his band “The Crazy Tennesseans” (The song comes from a passage in the Bible, Jeremiah 12:9).
- 1938, joined the Grand Ole Opry and was its first international star.1974, taught President Richard Nixon how to yo-yo on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.
- Had a collection of more than 2200 miniature liquor bottles; also collected dolls, guns and musical instruments.
- Died in 1992 at age 89.
RECOMMENDED: The Essential Roy Acuff (Columbia, 2008) A nice collection of his best-known songs including “The Great Speckled Bird,” “Wreck on the Highway” and “Wabash Cannonball.”