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Roy Clark ‘pickin’ and grinnin’’ at Sondheim

Fairfield’s Mitch Goudy will open for the ultimate country music entertainer.
Feb 28, 2014
Roy Clark

Roy Clark, the ultimate country music entertainer, will light up the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts with his singing, showmanship, comedy and versatile instrumental skills, at 7:30 p.m. March 8.

Opening the evening of country music will be Fairfield’s own Mitch Goudy, recently named a CMA Close Up “Who New To Watch” artist. His unique blend of soft melodies and strong vocals is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the Midwest.

One of the world’s finest multi-instrumentalists and one of the first cross-over artists to land singles on both the pop and country charts, Clark is a musical pioneer. For more than six decades, he has been an icon in country music, recording 24 Top 40 country hits — among them, eight Top 10 songs — and has been recognized with 25 major awards, including the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year honors and Instrumental Group of the Year with Buck Trent. He received a Grammy for “Alabama Jubilee” in 1982 and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2009.

Pickin’, singin’ and offering country corn, his talents turned “Hee Haw” into one of the longest-running shows in television history, bringing country music into homes across the world for 24 years.

Clark was a frequent guest host for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” and turned Branson, Mo., into the live music capitol of the world.

Though he’s never bought a joke and doesn’t read music, this self-described, and proud of it, “hillbilly singer” is a rare entertainer with the popularity worthy of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Clark, who turned 80 years old in May, will display a performance by a seasoned showman who’s not afraid to confront his age – indeed, embrace it and make light of it. Clark has always been far more regarded for his playing than for his pleasant voice, neither of which has suffered with age.

“The style I play, the speed is the bottom line,” Clark said. “I don’t know when that started. I didn’t intentionally start playing fast. The more I did it, the more it was accepted, and the more smiles it brought.”

“A generation or two has grown up listening to Roy Clark,” said Rustin Lippincott, executive director of the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. “The string of hits he has put together is truly legendary including ‘Yesterday When I Was Young,’ ‘I Never Picked Cotton,’ ‘Thank God and Greyhound You’re Gone,’ ‘Come Live With Me’ and ‘Chain Gang of Love.’ He is a stellar guitarist, with his instrumental ‘Malaguena,’ performed on a 12-string guitar, considered a classic.”

Clark’s show March 8 at the Sondheim is rescheduled from Sept. 20. Tickets for the Sept. 20 performance will be accepted for the show March 8.

Tickets are $34 Zone 1, $30 Zone 2, $23 Zone 3, $15 for Zone 4 and youth. Tickets are available at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center Ticket Office, 472-2787 and online at www.FairfieldACC.com.

Roy Clark’s performance is part of the 2013-14 Sondheim Center Artist Series: Continuing the Momentum.

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