Roy Acuff

Roy Acuff

Infobox musical artist
Name = Roy Acuff

Img_capt = Roy Acuff on the cover of "The Great Roy Acuff" (1964)
Img_size = 170px
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Roy Claxton Acuff
Alias = King of Country Music
Born = birth date|1903|9|15|mf=y
Died = death date and age|1992|11|23|1903|9|15
Origin = Maynardville, TN, USA
Instrument = Fiddle
Genre = Country Music
Occupation = Singer and Songwriter
Years_active = 1936 – 1992
Label =
Associated_acts =
Current_members = Country Music Hall of Fame Grand Ole Opry
Past_members =
Notable_instruments = Fiddle

Roy Claxton Acuff (September 15, 1903 – November 23, 1992) was an American country musician known around the world as the "King of Country Music". [cite news
author = Jon Pareles
title = Roy Acuff, 89, Singer, Dies; The King of Country Music
work = New York Times
date = November 24, 1992
url =
accessdate = 2008-02-08

Early life

He was born in Maynardville, Tennessee to Ida Carr and Simon E. Neil Acuff [ [ Ancestry of Roy Acuff ] ] , the third of five children. He played semi-professional baseball, but a sunstroke in 1929 and a nervous breakdown in 1930 ended his aspirations to play for the New York Yankees. []

Music career

He then turned his attention to his father's fiddle and began playing in a traveling medicine show, often performing in blackface. He toured the Southern United States and eventually formed a band called "The Crazy Tennesseans".

In 1936, he recorded his two most enduring songs, the traditional "The Great Speckled Bird" and "The Wabash Cannonball". He debuted at the "Grand Ole Opry" two years later. He was booked as a fiddler, and he should have played the "Turkey Buzzard" for a square dancing segment, but he decided to try and sing The Great Speckled Bird. His decision was not well received, however. Acuff became a regular on the Opry, forming a backing band called the Smoky Mountain Boys, led by friend and Dobro player Bashful Brother Oswald. By 1940 he was the star of the show.

Acuff's recording of "The House of the Rising Sun" on November 3, 1938 is the first known commercial recording of the song. He released several singles in the 1940s such as "The Wreck on the Highway," "Beneath That Lonely Mound of Clay" and "The Precious Jewel". During the 1940s he also appeared in eight movies.

In 1942, a man of many talents, he formed a music publishing venture with Chicago songwriter Fred Rose. Acuff-Rose Music became a country music phenomenon, owning huge numbers of copyrights including those by Marty Robbins, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and all of the songs of Hank Williams.

As his record sales declined in the late 1940s and 1950s, Acuff spent most of his time on the road, becoming one of the hottest tickets in country music. In 1962 he was the first living musician elected to The Country Music Hall of Fame. By the 1970s Acuff performed almost exclusively with the "Grand Ole Opry", at Opryland USA, greatly legitimizing it as the top institution in country music. He made one rare appearance at Carlton Haney's Camp Spring Bluegrass Festival in 1971. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1991.

Political career

Acuff had a brief affair with politics, losing a run for the office of Governor of Tennessee as a Republican in 1944 and 1948. Acuff later campaigned in 1970 for his friend Tex Ritter in his campaign for GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Tennessee.


* A popular legend is that Japanese troops during World War II would enter battle yelling, "To hell with Roy Acuff" [ "Roy Acuff: Making Hillbilly Music Respectable" by John Molinaro ] , [ "Roy Acuff, Tennessee History for Kids" ]
* In 1962, Roy Acuff was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. For his contribution to the recording industry, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located on 1541 Vine St.
* Acuff was initiated as an Entered Apprentice at the East Nashville Freemasonry Lodge in 1943, and raised to Master Mason in 1944. He was made a 33rd Degree Mason on 21 October 1985.
* Acuff is thought to be one inspiration for Henry Gibson's character Haven Hamilton in Robert Altman's film "Nashville". The fictionalized character was reportedly a composite of several well-known musicians, including Acuff and Hank Snow.
* Acuff on recording: " [A] little secret of my policy in the studio ... [w] henever you once decide that you are going to record a number, put everything you've got into it. Don't say, 'Oh, we'll take it over and do it again' because every time you go through it you lose just a little something ... [l] et's do it the first time and to hell with the rest of them" - on the classic album "Will the Circle Be Unbroken".
* U.S. Olympian high jumper Amy Acuff is his distant cousin. Some sources erroneously list her as his daughter.
* Wayne Abromowitz is a big Roy Acuff fan to the point where he is attempting to organize a Roy Acuff museum, and has requested financial support to the tune of $100,000,000 USD and on-air support.

ee also

Honorific titles in popular music


External links

* [ Born To Be With You: Roy Acuff] by Alain Dormoy, September 15 2002
* [ Acuff-Ecoff Family Archives]
* [ Who2]
* [ Acuff at the Country Music Hall of Fame]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Roy Acuff — Nom Roy Claxton Acuff Naissance 15 septembre 1903, à Maynardville Pays d’origine   …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Roy Acuff — Roy Claxton Acuff (* 15. September 1903 in Maynardville, Tennessee; † 23. November 1992) war ein US amerikanischer Countrysänger und Musikverleger. Er war einer der größten und einflussreichsten Stars der Countrymusik in der Zeit zwischen dem Tod …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Acuff — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Roy Claxton Acuff (15 de septiembre de 1903, Maynardsville, Tennessee 23 de noviembre de 1992, Nashville, Tennessee) fue un violinista, letrista y cantante estadounidense. Se dedicó a la música después de una… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Roy Acuff — …   Википедия

  • Acuff-Rose Music — was an American music publishing firm headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.Acuff Rose was formed by country music performer Roy Acuff and Fred Rose, a major Nashville music industry figure who had a respected ability as a talent scout. Many… …   Wikipedia

  • Acuff-Rose Music — Publishing ist ein führender US amerikanischer Musikverlag, der überwiegend Country Musik vermarktet. Die Firma wurde im Oktober 1942 vom Country Sänger Roy Acuff und vom Songwriter Fred Rose gegründet. Treibende Kraft war Acuff, der das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Acuff-Rose — Music Publishing ist ein führender US amerikanischer Musikverlag, der überwiegend Country Musik vermarktet. Die Firma wurde im Oktober 1942 vom Country Sänger Roy Acuff und vom Songwriter Fred Rose gegründet. Treibende Kraft war Acuff, der das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Roy Huskey, Jr. — Roy M. Huskey, Jr. (December 17, 1956 September 6, 1997) was a prominent American upright bass player in country music from Nashville, Tennessee. Huskey performed alongside musicians such as Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill,… …   Wikipedia

  • Acuff — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Amy Acuff (* 1975), US amerikanische Leichtathletin Eddie Acuff (1903 1956), US amerikanischer Schauspieler Roy Acuff (1903–1992), US amerikanischer Country Sänger und Musik Verleger Acuff heißt der Ort… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Acuff — may refer to several people or things:Places: *Acuff, TexasPeople: *Roy Acuff (1903 1992), American musician *Eddie Acuff (1903 1956), American actor *Amy Acuff (born 1975), American athleteOther: *Acuff Rose Music, American publishing firm …   Wikipedia