Roy Clark’s performance of “Yesterday When I Was Young” leaves listeners teary-eyed


Country legend Roy Clark performed live on “Hee Haw” on October 22, 1978. Roy hosted the nationally televised country diversity show from 1969 to 1997. Have you ever watched an episode of the movie “Hee Haw”?

Roy sat alone on stage against a red and blue backdrop. He had his acoustic guitar by his side and wore a cream colored blazer with jeans. He sings the soft ballad “Yesterday When I Was Young” in a tender and beautiful voice, and the crowd just listens to him in silence.

He sang extremely touching words. “Yesterday, when I was young, I used to expect quite a lot of joyful songs to be sung. There were so many wild pleasures waiting and causing so much pain that my dazzling eyes didn’t even want to see it. I ran so fast that time and youth finally ran out.”

It was the show’s tenth anniversary, and Roy traded his typical and singular comedy for a touch of sensuality. Roy’s version of the song became one of the biggest and most famous hits on the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart. It peaked at number nine, also charting at number nineteen, becoming a Top 40 pop hit.

The lyrics of the emotional song touched so many people and received a good response across the country. Roy performed the song at baseball legend Mickey Mantle’s funeral in 1995 at Mantle’s personal request.

Roy Clark was credited with helping country music by popularizing the genre with his television show. Roy had over thirty million views on Hee Haw. He was also an Armenian and a well-known guitarist, banjo player and fiddler. He inspired more country artists to pursue bluegrass music.

Roy also knew how to entertain listeners and often filled in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. Americans pretty much liked Roy’s wonderful talent and comedy, and his variety show had an incredibly large impact on the popularity of country music over the years.

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