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Guy Clark, Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter, Dies at 74

Image: Guy Clark, Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter, Dies at 74
Singer/songwriter Guy Clark performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on May 3, 2009 in New Orleans. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 May 2016 01:05 PM

Guy Clark, a Grammy Award-winning Nashville singer and songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Kenny Chesney, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 74.

Clark, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and a part of the city's music scene for more than 40 years, had been in declining health for years, The Tennessean reported.

Clark wrote songs for a long list of artists, including Ricky Skaggs, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Bobby Bare, Jimmy Buffett, and Kris Kristofferson, along with Cash, Nelson and Chesney, according to the newspaper.

"In 1971, Clark's songwriting career started in earnest, after years spent working in a guitar repair shop and building Dobros for the Dopyera Brothers Original Musical Instruments Company," The Wall Street Journal noted.

"He signed a publishing deal and moved to Nashville. His debut album, 'Old No. 1,' was released by RCA Records in 1975 and featured 'L.A. Freeway' and 'Desperados Waiting for a Train.' Over the course of his career, he released 14 studio albums and recently won a Grammy for best folk album in 2013 for his final studio album, 'My Favorite Picture of You,'" The Journal continued.

Numerous musicians paid tribute to Clark with the 2011 double album "This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark," in which artists like Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash, and Harris covered many of his songs.

Clark and his wife, Susanna, were part of a well-known Nashville roots musical gathering that included Harris, Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Mickey Newbury, Billy Joe Shaver, and others, The Tennessean wrote.

"Townes Van Zandt is one of the reasons I started writing songs," Clark told musicologist Ben Sandmel in 1992, according to the newspaper. "He writes serious, he writes seriously funny. But he never rhymes moon-june-spoon to make a buck. It's more of a literary approach. His work is a great yardstick. He consistently keeps me honest."

Clark was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting from the Americana Music Association over the past decade.

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Guy Clark, a Grammy Award-winning Nashville singer and songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Kenny Chesney, died Tuesday after a long illness.
guy clark, dies, grammy, winner, songwriter
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2016-05-18
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 01:05 PM
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