Press - Roy Acuff & The Smoky Mountain Boys The King Of Country Music - The Art Desk
In 1942, Roy Acuff set up Acuff-Rose Music in partnership with Nashville-based songwriter and talent scout Fred Rose. The new publishing company was dedicated to treating songwriters decently. They would not be cheated out of their copyrights. There would be clear and honest accounting. The contracts offered would have better percentages than rival publishers. There would be no shady deals. Acuff-Rose cocked a snook at the country music establishment and, in time, had writers as important as The Everly Brothers, Lefty Frizzell, Don Gibson and Roy Orbison on its books. Acuff and Rose had changed the way the Americana music business worked.
If that were all Acuff had done, his place in music history would be assured. But it was not. Roy Acuff (1903–1992) was a musical giant and, in the title of a 1962 album, dubbed “The King of Country Music”. He was famous, from 1938 a long-time star of the Grand Ole Opry, a mean fiddler and changed how bands worked – he was crucial to the change from bands being a line-up of instrumentalists to showcasing a leader; the focus and star. It was Roy Acuff & The Smoky Mountain Boys, not The Smoky Mountain Boys. Any way it’s looked at, he was a key player in the development of America’s music scene.