Country music, a steadily rising star in America's popular culture, is now
at its zenith, and Roy Acuff is its undisputed king. The journey of Acuff from
his humble origins as the son of a small-town Baptist preacher to the
pinnacle of a fabulous career is traced in this warm-hearted
biography by an author who has spent more than twenty years as a dedicated
scholar and collector of Roy Acuff memorabilia.
A close personal friend and admirer of this highly talented star, Elizabeth
Schlappi offers penetrating insights into the artistry of her subject,
the first living performer to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Miss Schlappi delves deeply into the Acuff family history, revealing
a heritage that well qualifies its ost famous member to translate a centuries-old
Anglo-Saxon folk-singing tradition into the unique voice of America's rural South.
From the time he first performed on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in February,
1938, Roy Acuff, perhaps more than any other musician, helped transform the
Opry from regional entertainment intoa national institution. Roy
and his Smoky Mountain Boys literally became household words,
expressing the love, joys and sorrows, and religious fervor of an entire
In this biography, the author pays tribute to the musical talent that
enabled Acuff to rise to superstardom, launched by the
stunning success of "On The Wings of That Great Speckled Bird," the now
famous hymn written in the 1930s which became his second largest record
Drawing upon personal interviews with Acuff's close associates, friends
and family, and with the star himself, the author creates a living
portrait of the man who not only is the "dean" of the Grand Ole Opry but
who has played a major role in the evolution of country music into a
widely recognized, distinctive American art form.
The book is profusely illustrated with 16 pages of photographs of Roy
Acuff and his family and fellow performers, selected primarily from the
Acuff family photo album. For the serious fans and collectors of country
music, there is a 15-page discography listing the hundreds of songs
recorded by Roy Acuff.
Miss Schlappi resides in San Diego, California, where a section of her
home houses her extensive collection of Acuff memorabilia.