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On his way to becoming an early star in the D.C.-area country-music scene, Roy Clark was a carhop in Alexandria and a paperboy for the Washington Star. He eventually dropped out of Chamberlain Vocational High School and devoted himself full-time to music. For a couple of years, he was a sideman for future sausage magnate Jimmy Dean, then he left D.C. to open for Wanda Jackson in Vegas. In wasn’t long before he released The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark, one of the greatest instrumental country records of all time. And his Falstaffian farm-boy schtick and nonthreatening appearance (Bob Hope once described his face as a “fireplace”) have since endeared him to millions as the co-host of Hee Haw. Through it all, Clark’s gravy-smothered banter and instrumental prestidigitation have served to cover up both his anemic voice and his minimal songwriting skills. Before tonight’s Yule-themed pickin’ and grinnin’ session at the Birchmere, Clark will be playing Santa Claus for the Bushes at the annual Pageant of Peace Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. (Please keep that a secret—Dubya still believes.) As recounted in Sam Lovullo’s coke-lines-behind-the-corn-stalks tell-all, Life in the Kornfield: My 25 Years at Hee Haw, the ego clashes between Roy and co-host Buck Owens were something of legend. I, for one, hope that doesn’t stop Roy from dipping a ladle into Buck’s Klassic Kuntry Kristmas Kanon—”Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy” and “All I Want for Christmas Is My Daddy” in particular. Jingle your bells at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $39.50. (703) 549-7500. (David Dunlap Jr.)