Legendary Country Singer Guy Clark Dies At 74

Guy Clark / Photo Courtesy: Austin City Limits Archives

NASHVILLE, May 17, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Guy Clark has passed away at age 74.

According to his Facebook page bio, in his high school days, Clark won science fairs, joined the Explorer’s club, presided over the junior class as president, acted in school plays, excelled on the debate team, illustrated the yearbook, and fell in love with Mexican folk songs and the Flamenco guitar.

After a couple of false starts at colleges, Guy joined the Peace Corps in 1963. He traveled to Puerto Rico, practicing water survival, rock climbing and trekking.

Clark moved to Houston, where he opened a guitar repair shop with his friend Minor Wilson. He played guitar and sang folk songs at the Houston Folklore Society, Sand Mountain coffee shop and the Jester Lounge, where he began life long friendships with fellow struggling songwriters and musicians Mickey Newbury, Townes Van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kay Oslin, Frank Davis, Gary White and Crow Johnson.

Clark played with a bluegrass band on the weekends and pitched his songs to publishing companies in between.

In 1971, he signed a publishing deal with Sunbury Dunbar and moved to Nashville where he and his soon-to-be wife, Susanna Talley, crashed on songwriter Mickey Newbury’s houseboat for a few weeks before moving into a small rental house in East Nashville. Guy and Susanna married in 1972.

In that year, Guy Clark wrote “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” “L.A. Freeway,” and “That Old Time Feeling.”

Clark released his first album “Old No. 1,” for RCA Records, in 1975. The singer/songwriter had also written several soon-to-be classic songs including “She Ain’t Going Nowhere,” “Let Him Roll,” “Rita Ballou,” and “Texas 1947.”

His bio on Facebook continues, “Clark hit his stride when he signed with Sugar Hill Records in 1989, and then released a string of significant folk and Americana albums with Sugar Hill, Asylum Records and Dualtone Music Group during the next two-and-a-half decades: ‘Old Friends,’ ‘Boats to Build,’ ‘Dublin Blues,’ ‘Keepers,’ ‘Cold Dog Soup,’ ‘The Dark,’ ‘Workbench Songs,’ ‘Somedays the Song Writes You’ and his final 2013 Grammy-winning Best Folk Album, ‘My Favorite Picture of You’.

“For more than 40 years, the Clark home was a gathering place for songwriters, folk singers, artists and misfits; many of whom sat at the feet of the master songwriter in his element, willing Guy’s essence into their own pens.

“Throughout his long and extraordinary career, Guy Clark blazed a trail for original and groundbreaking artists and troubadours including his good friends Rodney Crowell, Jim McGuire, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp and Vince Gill.”


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