Iconic Songwriter Guy Clark Passes Away at 74

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Guy Charles Clark, the legendary Texas-born songwriter and musician, passed away today after a long illness, The Tennessean reports. The death was confirmed by a note left on Clark’s official Facebook page. He was 74.

Clark was born in Monahans, TX, in 1941 and moved around the state before joining the Peace Corps then settling in Houston to start both a guitar-making shop and his music career. After moving to Nashville in the early 1970s, Clark quickly gained fame as a storyteller and songwriter, providing songs for countless artists like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris Ricky Skaggs and others over his career. His most well-known songs include “Desperados Waiting on a Train” and “L.A. Freeway.”

Clark himself released albums along with his songwriting for others, presenting his debut record, Old No. 1, in 1975. His last album was 2013’s My Favorite Picture of You. Clark’s wife, Susanna, was a close collaborator with her husband and was an artist and songwriter in her own right. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 73.

Lyle Lovett, whom Clark helped get started in Nashville, had this to say about his friend, according to the Houston Chronicle: “I stepped into his home once and it was full of art and guitars, it was this place full of artistic creation. And that reaches into his songs as well. We’re all trying to get to the same place through our discovery of things that make us feel like we’re OK. That’s basically what music and art does. You want to find a mutual point of view with somebody who understands how you feel. Guy’s a master at expressing feeling in songs.”
The note posted on Clark’s Facebook page leaves his fans with this image of Clark’s welcoming residence:

For more than forty years, the Clark home was a gathering place for songwriters, folk singers, artists and misfits; many who 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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