He was a country music singer-songwriter, fiddler and producer born Roy Claxton Acuff in Maynardville, Tennessee who was a semi-pro baseball player until a nervous breakdown ended his playing hopes.
He ventured out on his musical career in the 1930s and with his group the Smokey Mountain Boys became known for his work as a fiddler and singer. Sometimes dubbed “The King of Country Music” he popularised the song “The Wabash Cannonball ” in 1936. He became part of the Grand Ole Opry in 1938 and remained with them for nearly 40 years.
In 1942 he became the founder of his publishing company, Acuff-Rose Music, which worked with artists such as The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison and Hank Williams among many others.
He was inducted into the Country Hall of Fame in 1962, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and there is a Roy Acuff Museum in Nashville.
He is distantly related to Amy Acuff the Olympian high-jumper.
Roy Acuff Recordings
The Old Age Pension Check (Roy Acuff)
The Wabash Cannonball (Traditional American/A.P. Carter/William Kindt )
Here he is singing “Wabash Cannonball”..