Leroy Frank Van Dyke (born October 4, 1929) is an American country music singer best known for his hits "The Auctioneer" (1956) and "Walk On By" (1961).
Van Dyke was born in Mora, Missouri. He lived in Spencer, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Missouri majoring in agricultural journalism. He was catapulted into country music fame in 1956 with his composition "The Auctioneer", co-written with Buddy Black, which sold over 2.5 million records.
He wrote the song about the life of his cousin, National Auctioneers Association Hall of Famer Ray Sims, also a Missourian. Van Dyke had the lead role of a budding country music performer in the 1967 movie What Am I Bid?, in which Sims played himself as an auctioneer.
In his 50 years-plus career, Van Dyke has recorded more than 500 songs, dozens of them making the charts. His record of "Walk On By" (1961) was named by Billboard magazine in 1994 as the biggest country single of all time, based on sales, plays and weeks in the charts. It stayed at number one in the U.S. country chart for 19 weeks, and in all, charted for 42 weeks, also reaching No. 5 on the pop listings. It sold more than 1.5 million copies.
Other Van Dyke hits were "If A Woman Answers", "Black Cloud", "Big Man In A Big House", "Anne Of A Thousand Days", "Happy To Be Unhappy", "Night People", "Be A Good Girl", "Dim Dark Corner", "Five Steps Away", "How Long Must You Keep Me A Secret", "Afraid Of A Heartache", "Big Wide Wonderful World Of Country Music", "Birmingham", "Just A State Of Mind", "Mr. Professor", "My World Is Caving In", "The Other Boys Are Talking", "Poor Guy", "Roses From A Stranger", "Texas Tea", "Who’s Gonna Run The Truck Stop In Tuba City When I’m Gone", "Wrong Side Of The Tracks", "Your Daughter Cried All Night", "Your Money" and "The Life You Offered Me".
In the UK Singles Chart Van Dyke had two hits: "Walk On By" reached No. 5 in February 1962, and "Big Man in a Big House" made No. 34 in May that year.
He was a cast member in the late 1950s on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee; and was co-host, with Bill Mack, of the Southern Baptist Radio/TV Commission-produced Country Crossroads radio show for ten years, and was later joined by a third co-host, Jerry Clower. It became the most widely syndicated radio show in country music history.
Van Dyke continues a full performance schedule, traveling from his office/home complex on his 1,000-acre (4 km²) ranch in west central Missouri near Sedalia. He is a member of the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame, is active in many music industry organizations and, as a sideline, raises premium quality Arabian mules. All aspects of Leroy Van Dyke Enterprises are managed by his wife, Gladys, a former legal secretary and court reporter. Their son Ben plays lead guitar in all Van Dyke performances. Leroy Van Dyke is also a Korean War veteran.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Leroy Van Dyke among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
Updated: 20181223 | 20200219
Wikipedia: This page was last edited on 17 December 2019, at 23:19 (UTC).