Guy Clark


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Guy Clark biography

Guy Charles Clark (born November 6, 1941) is an American Texas country and folk singer, musician, songwriter, recording artist, and performer. He has released more than twenty albums, and his songs have been recorded by other artists including Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, and Rodney Crowell. Clark was born in Monahans, Texas and eventually settled in Nashville, where he helped create the progressive country and outlaw country genres. His songs L.A. Freeway and Desperados Waiting for a Train that helped launch his career were covered by numerous performers. He is an accomplished luthier and often plays his own guitars. He achieved success as a songwriter with Jerry Jeff Walker’s recordings of "L.A. Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting For A Train". Artists such as Johnny Cash, David Allan Coe, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, Brad Paisley, John Denver, Alan Jackson, Rodney Crowell, The Highwaymen, and Kenny Chesney have recorded Clark’s songs. Emmylou Harris has accompanied him on several recordings, particularly his own version of "Desperados Waiting For A Train" on his first album, Old No. 1, released in 1975. Clark is frequently referred to as "The Fifth Highwayman". Clark has been a mentor to such other singers as Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell. He organized Earle's first job as a writer in Nashville. In the 1970s, the Clarks' home in Nashville was an open house for songwriters and musicians and it features in the documentary Heartworn Highways, an evocation of the songwriter scene in Nashville at that time. (Snapper/Catfish, 1981/2003, with Townes Van Zandt, David Allan Coe, and Steve Earle). Numerous artists have charted with Clark-penned tunes. In 1982, Bobby Bare made it to the Country Top Twenty with Clark’s "New Cut Road". That same year, bluegrass leader Ricky Skaggs hit No. 1 with Clark’s "Heartbroke", a song that permanently established his reputation as an ingenious songwriter. Among the many others who have covered Clark's songs are Vince Gill, who took "Oklahoma Borderline" to the Top Ten in 1985; The Highwaymen, who introduced "Desperados Waiting For A Train" to a new generation that same year; and John Conlee, whose interpretation of “The Carpenter” rode into the Top Ten in 1987. Steve Wariner took his cover of Clark's "Baby I’m Yours" to No. 1 in 1988; Asleep at the Wheel charted with Clark's "Blowin’ Like a Bandit" the same year. Crowell was Clark’s co-writer on "She’s Crazy for Leavin’", which in 1989 became the third of five straight #l hits for Crowell. Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson cover Clark’s "Out in the Parkin' Lot," co-written with Darrell Scott, on Paisley's Time Well Wasted CD. Jimmy Buffett has covered Clark’s "Boats to Build" and "Cinco de Mayo in Memphis". Clark credits Townes Van Zandt as being a major influence on his songwriting. They were best friends for many years until Van Zandt's death in 1997, and since then Clark has included one of Van Zandt's compositions on most of his albums. In 1995, he recorded a live album with Van Zandt and Steve Earle, Together at the Bluebird Cafe, which was released in October 2001. Other live material can be found on his album Keepers. In 2006 Clark released Workbench Songs. The album was nominated for "Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album" at the Grammy Awards. He also toured with Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, and John Hiatt in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In May 2008, Clark canceled four concerts after breaking his leg. After two months on crutches, he began to perform again on July 4 at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC where he appeared with Verlon Thompson. On June 20, 2009, Clark announced a new album entitled "Somedays the Song Writes You" which was released on September 22, 2009. It features originals along with a Townes Van Zandt song entitled "If I Needed You". In December 2011 This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark (a two-CD set) was released by Icehouse Music. Clark was married to songwriter and artist, Susanna Clark from 1972 through her death from cancer on June 27, 2012.

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