Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Remembering Guy Clark

      In what continues to be a rough year for the music industry, another legend has passed away. Country music singer and masterful songwriter Guy Clark has passed away at the age of 74. While many of the deaths in 2016 have been high profile artists whose names are up in lights at the main marque, Guy Clark was one that wasn’t as common of a household name. However, his impact was no less on country music and he will be just as sorely missed.

      Guy was born in 1941 in Texas. He spent time in Los Angeles and San Francisco before coming to Nashville in the early 70’s. He caught his big break when fellow Texan Jerry Jeff Walker recorded “L.A. Freeway”, a song inspired by his time in California. He penned songs that hit the top of the charts for Rodney Crowell, Ricky Skaggs, John Conlee, Vince Gill, and Steve Wariner. He had songs recorded by Johnny Cash as well. Perhaps his most famous song was “Desperados Waiting For A Train”. The song showcased Guy’s unique storytelling ability and became a timeless classic. It was covered by Jerry Jeff Walker, but is perhaps best known by it’s rendition by The Highwaymen. The country music super-group of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson made the song one of the highlights of their album and live shows.

      Guy Clark’s solo career never really took off. He experienced a blip on the charts here and there, despite recording many albums throughout the years. However, other artists often took his work and made their own great interpretations of it. Among the artists included earlier, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, David Allan Coe, and Alan Jackson have recorded his material. He often co-wrote and became close friends with Townes Van Zant, another legendary singer-songwriter. Guy married his wife Susanna in 1971 and they remained together until her death in 2012.

     In the end, the world will remember Guy Clark as being one of the last of his breed. He was a rugged troubadour who wrote real life stories from a place of honesty. Guy didn’t write music based on demographics and sales patterns, he wrote music based on emotions and feelings. That outlaw spirit is hard to come by these days. He inspired many a country songwriter with his simple words, and he will be remembered by those words long after he is gone. Rest in peace, Guy Clark, you will be missed.

"L.A. Freeway"

"Desperados Waiting For A Train"

The day before he died, I went to see him
I was grown, and he was almost gone
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed of supper kitchens
And sang another verse to that old song
Come on Jack, that son-of-a-gun's a-comin'.
Like desperados waiting for a train


  1. Great tribute JC. Guy will surely be missed. Rest easy.

  2. Please bring this website back