September 15: Today is the "King of Country Music," Roy Acuff's birthday...

... he died on November 23, 1992.

Ccountry music singer, fiddler, and promoter Roy Claxton Acuff was born in Maynardville, Tennessee, on September 15, 1903.  Known as the King of Country Music, Acuff is often credited with moving the genre from its early string band and "hoedown" format to the star singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful.

Acuff began his music career in the 1930s, and gained regional fame as the singer and fiddler for his group, the Smoky Mountain Boys. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1938, and although his popularity as a musician waned in the late 1940s, he remained one of the Opry's key figures and promoters for nearly four decades.

In 1942, Acuff co-founded the first major Nashville-based country music publishing company—Acuff-Rose Music—which signed acts such as Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Brothers.

In 1962, Acuff became the first living person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1979, Opryland opened the Roy Acuff Theatre, which was dedicated in Acuff's honor. Dunbar Cave State Park was established in 1973 largely around a recreational area the state had purchased from Acuff.

Two museums have been named in Acuff's honor—the Roy Acuff Museum at Opryland and the Roy Acuff Union Museum and Library in his hometown of Maynardville. Acuff also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


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