Born October 4th, 1929 at his families home in Pettis County Missouri, Leroy Frank Van Dyke, better known to the country music industry as “The Auctioneer” celebrates 55 years with the Grand Ole Opry on October 19th and proudly enjoys 60 years in the music industry as a whole.
Van Dyke became a member of the famous Grand Ole Opry in November 1962. In November of 1965 he received a letter from Ott Divine, the program manager of WSM fame kicking him out of his Opry membership, or so it appeared, but that didn’t stop LeRoy, you will still to this day find his name as it appears backstage on the gold plates designating Opry members. As Pete Fisher said regarding the reinstatement of Hank Williams, “once an Opry member always and Opry member.”
Van Dyke has been touring since 1956 and with over 3500 performances which includes fairs, agricultural events and a wide variety of others he has never missed a show. His first hit single “The Auctioneer” was released in 1956 and then in 1961 the single “Walk On By” was released. Both singles have made LeRoy Van Dyke a legend in the country music industry. In the six decades that he has worked in the industry his music has carved a special place in the memories of millions.
“The Auctioneer” was a multi-million dollar selling record and is being used this month, October 2017, in the new Subway commercial. Please enjoy “The Auctioneer”……
Van Dyke has recorded over 500 songs throughout his career. In 1994 “Walk On By” was named as the biggest country single of all time by Billboard Magazine. This was based on plays, sales, and how many weeks it placed on the charts. In the US it stayed on the country music charts for over 19 weeks at number one. In total it placed on the charts for 42 weeks and sold over 1.5 million copies.
He is the author of the book “Auctioneering, Motivation, Success which is said to be the most detailed and most complete home study course ever written on the art of being an auctioneer.
Other outstanding accolades include being the first artist to receive the Country Music Association Founding Presidents Award for his contributions to the improvement and advancement of the image of country music, recipient of the International Entertainment Buyers Association Heritage Award, Recipient of the Missouri Traditional Country Music Association Hall of Fame Award and the Life Time Achievement Award for the same organization.
Van Dyke was the first country artist to introduce country music to Bourbon Street in the famed French Quarter in New Orleans, and the only country music performer to open for the glamorous and unforgettable Marilyn Monroe.
His accolades and accomplishments are vast and so is the amassed number of fans who enjoy his music currently and have for so many years. He hosted the very first CMA Awards show and holds ownership of the audio broadcast tape of the event. This event took place the year before the CMA Awards became a TV broadcast. Van Dyke continues to tour around the country with Country Gold Tours always making the fans smile. He is a true country music legend and all of us here at Nashville Music Guide are proud to be part of sharing his story with you.
Please visit http://www.leroyvandyke.com/ for more information on country music great LeRoy Van Dyke.