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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Clark to miss Greene County Festival this year

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A long-time fixture at the Greene County Foundation Festival, Roy Clark will not be in attendance this year. Courtesy Photo.
LINTON -- Country Music Hall of Fame member Roy Clark will not appear in Linton this year as part of the Greene County Foundation Festival.

Clark has appeared in 17 shows on stage in Linton as part of the festival, which raises money for college scholarships.

"Roy is not going to be here this year," committee member Kathy Matthews told The Greene County Daily World. "At the current time, the committee does not have a plan B."

Clark's cancellation puts the future of the benefit show, set for June 4, in jeopardy and local committee members gathered Wednesday to discuss options.

"We should know then where we are headed too," Matthews added.

Greene County Foundation Executive Director Cam Trampke said several options will be looked at.

When asked if Clark's decision might cancel the show, Trampke replied, "I think that's probably an option that is on the table. We just need to do some fact-finding here to find out exactly if there are others that might come. I think all of that will be explored."

Trampke acknowledged the show has struggled financially the last couple of years with ticket sales down. Last year's concert netted just more than $1,100.

"It (the show) is just one piece of the whole festival. I think whatever happens with the show is not going to impact on the overall festival," Trampke said. "This is my first year in being intimately involved with the festival. There is a tradition here so I am just kind of following that tradition."

Trampke said it is an obvious disappointment when Clark, the show headliner, is not going to be a part of the festival this year.

"There are a lot of good people who have been involved in this thing (the festival) for years and years and have put a lot of their time and effort into this," Trampke said. "Regardless of where we are, it has had a strong following and a great impact. In that regard, we need to thank everybody who has been involved and we'll just see where we go from here."

Richard Kennedy, music director for Roy Clark Productions, told The Greene County Daily World that for Clark and the band members, not being in Linton for the first weekend in June was a disappointment, but is necessary this year.

"Not being in Linton is going to feel like not making it to Thanksgiving dinner to see your family. Roy is going to be doing a 'Salute to the Kornfield' TV taping and the logistics of getting the old Hee Haw crew together was a nightmare. Roy had to make a tough choice but this reunion of the Hee Haw cast just wouldn't be complete and probably would halt production if he couldn't be there," Kennedy said.

Kennedy pointed out that Clark still has a very busy tour schedule.

"He hasn't had a personal day off since the first of the year," his band leader stated. "Linton is our favorite destination. There is not another event that we do as a group that is more enjoyable for us. Some of the guys may try to make it up there anyway if they are not going to be a part of the taping."

The show and golf tournament -- the major parts of the festival weekend, began in 1969 as the Phil Harris Scholarship Festival and continued after Harris' death as the Greene County Foundation Festival.

Proceeds from the two events throughout the years have raised thousands of dollars toward college scholarships for county students.

The Clark show alone has helped raise more than $135,000 in endowed scholarship funds since 2003 that have been presented to more than 200 students.

Clark first performed as part of the Harris show in Linton in 1981 and again in 1996. He has returned every year -- except 2005 when he was ill -- to headline the annual show.

Clark was on the national scene on "Hee Haw," -- a show he hosted from 1969-92.

A guitarist, fiddle player and banjo player, Clark was named ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1972 and 1973 as well as CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1973.

He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and has been very busy with an extensive road tour of concerts, according to Kennedy.

Clark has often commented that one of the key factors that made the annual event in Linton such a success and something that visiting entertainers and golfers enjoy is the Hoosier hospitality they experience.

"They (the people in the Greene County community) really make you feel like you are part of this whole county here and I should say the whole state of Indiana," Clark said after last year's show. "We really appreciate that."

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Sorry to hear this...but Roy can only be in one place at a time! ;-)

-- Posted by JaniLou on Thu, Mar 31, 2011, at 4:26 PM

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