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Roy Acuff
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Musician
    (September 15, 1903-November 23, 1992)
    Born in Maynardville, Tennessee
    AKA ‘King of Country Music’
    Leader of the Tennessee Crackerjacks (later the Crazy Tennesseeans and ultimately the Smoky Mountain Boys)
    Albums include ‘Songs of the Smoky Mountains,’ ‘Old Time Barn Dance,’ ‘Waiting for My Call to Glory’ and ‘Back in the Country’
    Singles include ‘The Great Speckled Bird,’ ‘Wabash Cannonball,’ ‘I’ll Forgive You But I Can’t Forget,’ ‘Tennessee Waltz,’ ‘It Won’t Be Long,’‘I Called and Nobody Answered,’ ‘Black Mountain Rag,’ ‘Freight Train Blues,’ ‘Pins and Needles,’ ‘Night Train to Memphis,’ and ‘Back in the Country’
    Grand Ole Opry member (inaugurated 1938) Founder of the Acuff-Rose publishing company (1942)
    1948 Republican nominee
    1962 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee
    1991 Kennedy Center Honoree
    Talk about Hank Williams ears.
    He admitted to being a holy terror in the schoolhouse.
    He could balance farm tools on his chin.
    His inability to tolerate the sun in the slightest cut short his aspirations to play Major League Baseball.
    Once he regained full health, he joined a medicine show — complete with phoney elixir.
    He waged his political campaign under the promise of the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments (but lost two to one in the general election, in what was then heavily donkey territory).
    Though he credited his fiddling for his inspiration, he was not initially passionate about music as his father was.
    He took a few years off school to work on the family farm and a local rock quarry.
    At the behest of one high school teacher (he graduated around 21), he became a regular choirboy and stage actor.
    Despite his inability to tolerate the sun, he earned a host of varsity letters in football, baseball, and basketball.
    Before him, no inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame had lived to see their honor.
    He was a regular USO performer in WWII and the Vietnam War.
    He was, ahem, instrumental in shifting the genre from its old ‘hoedown’ and strings image to its internationally successful star vocalist format.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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