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My Life -- In Spite of Myself! Hardcover – March 10, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book is genial, good fun, and just what one would expect from Clark. His story is one of rags to riches, although he prefers not to dwell on the poverty of his young years but to highlight the spiritual wealth of his family relationships, his music, and the patchwork of unique opportunities that led to stardom. Noted as host for the CBS television show Hee-Haw , Clark offers amusing anecdotes about the show's colorful characters. Many names from country music and television also weave through his clever recollections. Clark also treats readers to glimpses of his hobbies, investments, and major ventures (such as his ownership of a show palace in Branson, Missouri). Clark does not dwell on his negative experiences but touches upon them philosophically and moves on to more positive times. This is entertaining reading by an entertaining performer. For popular collections.
- Carol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, N.J.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Roy Clark, the genial multi-instrumentalist and longtime host of TV's Hee Haw, tells the story of his rags-to-riches climb to stardom. Born in a small Virginia town, Clark grew up in Washington, D.C. His father, a laborer who moonlighted as a semi-pro guitarist, encouraged young Roy's playing and brought him along to weekend square dances as soon as he'd learned a few chords. Soon the boy was playing guitar several nights a week, and his school work suffered accordingly; eventually he dropped out to become a full-time musician. The next few years were a string of appearances with bands playing a variety of musical styles at bars, at dances, and on local radio and TV. Not quite confident of his own ability as a guitarist, Clark added a line of comic patter to his act as a way to cover up his feeling of inadequacy. His craftsmanship, versatility, and ability to make an audience laugh earned him sideman spots with better-known country stars like Jimmy Dean and Wanda Jackson. Finally, all the scuffling paid off in hit records (notably ``Yesterday When I Was Young), Tonight Show appearances, a star spot on Hee Haw, and getting his own theater in Branson, Missouri. Clark's story is heartening, if a bit humdrum--the performer comes across as salt of the earth, a man one would welcome as a neighbor, the farthest thing imaginable from headline material. For juicy gossip and inside dirt, one can look elsewhere. A reader is left feeling that one of the good guys has found success, but with little insight into what, beyond talent and hard work, might have raised him to the top. (B&w photos--32 pages--not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (March 10, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671864343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671864347
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick F. Conolly on September 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book a lot. Had I started it on the weekend I would have read it straight through. Roy is a great entertainer, and you feel from watching him that he's a heck of a nice guy. That impression is strengthened when you read this. Roy's not into dishing anybody - he feels he's been pretty lucky and has no bitterness about almost anything (well except possibly for the estrangement from his first wife and his only child).

So there's no real drama in the book; no harrowing ups and downs. Lots of little episodes in a life full of many events and remarkable people. None of the stories drag on long enough to bore the reader. In this respect it reminds me of Isaac Asimov's autobiography.

I think my actual favorite parts of the book were his experiences with the Navy's Blue Angels flying team, and with the little girl in the hospital who had "almost every bone in her body broken" in a car accident.

I wish there had been more, actually. There's not enough funny stories (unlike Bill Anderson's book I Hope You're Living as High on the Hog as the Pig You Turned Out to Be for example). And the biggest disappointment for me was not hearing anything about what it was like working with Wanda Jackson. She's been one of my favorite rock and country singers, and working with her was one of the milestones in Roy's rise. He gives her credit for being a great star and an inspiration to many female singers, says where they performed, and that he was on one of her (best) albums and some singles. But not one word about any personal interaction, conversation, anything. It makes me wonder if this is a case of "if you can't say something nice about someone ...".
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By A Customer on September 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This Book is a great biography of Country Music Genuis Roy Clark spanning his life and career.Roy Clark is a superb musician with a witty sense of humor and great character.Hopefully someday,there will be a video biography about this country music legend.Roy Clark Rules!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband and I both read this book and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. Roy lead an interesting life before he made it big. He faced his fair share of hurdles and setbacks but he never gave up his dream of becoming a country music star. It was that drive and determination that eventually made his dream come true and made him one of the biggest names in country music. And his Hee Haw days only added to his monumental success. We give high accolades to this book and just as an FYI shout out our favorite song is Come Live With Me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to know the story of a country music icon, read this book. Roy Clark's personality shines on every page. I particularly enjoyed the part about his early days in the Washington, DC area. I recommend this book to music fans everywhere.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Roy Clark; he is my favorite artist. On this CD he totally outdid himself! The songs are great, his voice is all I could ever expect, and the background music is as well. This man rarely disappoints, and if you love country music, or Roy Clark in particular, you too will love this.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're into country legends, you got'ta read this one.It's just so informative, easy reading & Very Interesting. Roy really takes you on a trip.Loved IT !
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Format: Paperback
Roy's book was interesting and well-written - I read it straight through. I'm always amazed at the wide range of talents these superstars have, which of course explains why they are superstars. Behind-the-scenes stories about Hee Haw (and other shows with which he was involved) made for a good read.
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