Roy Claxton Acuff in Maynardsville, Tennessee, on September 15, 1903
November 23, 1992, Nashville Tennessee
- Roy Acuff turned to country music after failing to make the cut as a professional baseball player.
- At the height of his fame, Acuff earned over $200,000 a year -- a considerable sum in the 1940s.
- Acuff ran for governor of Tennessee in 1948, but lost to the Democratic candidate Gordon Browning.
- With Fred Rose, he formed the Acuff-Rose Publishing Company. It became one of the most powerful and successful publishing companies in country music.
- In 1962, he became the first person to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame while still alive.
Bringing Rural Southern Music to the Mainstream:
Roy Acuff's weathered vocals and traditional songs brought the Southern folk tradition to the mainstream of country music. His hits "The Great Speckled Bird" and "Wabash Cannonball" earned him a wide audience. It was music that, it seemed, you could make yourself at home. His long tenure on the Grand Ole Opry turned him into a national star. He played the fiddle.
Acuff Gets Nitty Gritty:
In 1972, Acuff participated in the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's album Will the Circle Be Unbroken. The project brought him to the attention of a younger audience.