The Country Western Music
History of Roy Acuff

(Source:Cohen Collection)
Roy Acuff, autographby Bonnie Conrad

One of the most enduring figures in country western music history is Roy Acuff. Roy Acuff is often known as the King of the Hillbillies and the King of Country Music. He was one of the pioneers of country western music. During his long career in country western music, Roy Acuff has been a composer, performer and grand master of the Grand Ole Opry. Throughout his life he was a champion of the traditional country values that make country western music such a special part of American history.

Even though he is one of the pioneering figures in country western music history Roy Acuff did not set out to be a music star. His first love was sports, especially baseball. His skills at baseball were good enough to earn him a tryout with a major league team, but the tryout did not ever take place. Roy Acuff had a severe sunstroke while on a fishing trip, and unfortunately suffered a nervous breakdown after that.

After deciding that a baseball career was not going to happen, Roy Acuff decided to try his hand at being an entertainer. It is a good thing for fans of country western music that he made that decision. He soon was getting regular radio play in his native Knoxville, and the place in country western music history of Roy Acuff was soon born.

The country western music history of Roy Acuff really took off during the 1940's, when Roy Acuff had a long string of hits, including "The Wreck on the Highway", "Beneath That Lonely Mound of Clay", and "The Precious Jewel".

One of the other important contributions to country western music history by Roy Acuff came in the field of music publishing. Roy Acuff was one of the first performers to sense the potential of music publishing. He published and printed his own songbook. This songbook sold an amazing 100,000 copies.

Even after the passage of more than half a century, the name of Roy Acuff is still one of the most widely recognized and important in the long history of country western music. Fans of contemporary country music are encouraged to seek out the music of Roy Acuff to see where country western music got its start.

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