Did you know that on this day in Country Music History in 1991 Roy Acuff was one of 12 recipients of the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony hosted by President George Bush?

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It’s true! Check out this Roy Acuff video!

Here are 5 facts about Roy Acuff that you might not have known.

  • Roy Claxton Acuff was born September 15, 1903, in Maynardville, Tennessee. His father, Neil Acuff, was a lawyer and postmaster who was ordained as a minister and became the pastor of the local Maynardville Baptist Church; his mother, Ida Carr, was a homemaker.
  • As a child, he played the mouth harp and the harmonica and sang in the church choir.
  • He attended Maynardville's local two-room schoolhouse, where he was a self-described "terror" of a student, often suffering beatings, sometimes quite vicious, at the hands of his teachers.
  • He earned 13 varsity letters as a star football, basketball and baseball player for the Central High Bobcats.
  • After graduation, he worked several part-time jobs—as a levelman for a surveying team, as a railroad callboy and as shoe-shiner—while playing semi-professional baseball and attempting to work his way up to the majors.