November 6, 1941 – May 17, 2016
Guy Clark was the true embodiment of a “songwriter’s songwriter.” Born in Texas, Clark’s name is rarely excluded when conversations turn to the greats from that state. Alongside contemporaries like Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker, Clark laid down the foundation for what is now simply called Texas Music or Texas Country. His lyrics, served over mostly sparse blues folk instrumentation, tended to come as close to being called literature as songs could get. As a performer – and most of the time armed with little more than his acoustic guitar or maybe a second and a fiddle, Clark could leave an audience holding its collective breath in anticipation of the next word coming from his mouth – and many times, that was during his talk leading up to the song. He eventually settled in Nashville where he and his wife, Susanna Clark, often welcomed local songwriters into their home where they could work on perfecting their craft in informal workshops. This open houses often hosted the likes of Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, and Steve Young. Clark’s songs have been hits for such country luminaries as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, and Rodney Crowell. For his own recordings, Clark garnered numerous accolades, including a Best Folk Album Grammy for his 2014 release, My Favorite Picture of You. On May 17, 2016, Guy Clark died following a courageous battle against cancer. He was 74.
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