The Tennessean reports that Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Guy Clark has died in Nashville after a long illness. He was 74.
Born in West Texas, Clark moved to Houston to kick off his folk music career, becoming friends with other musicians like Townes Van Zandt and Lightnin’ Hopkins. After a brief sojourn to California, he moved to Nashville in 1971, quickly landing a songwriting contract with RCA. His most famous song was “Desperados Waiting For A Train,” which he noted in concert was about a man he thought was his grandfather but wasn’t:
Many of Clark’s other musical efforts happened behind the scenes. He wrote hits for a number of country stars, including Johnny Cash, David Allan Coe, George Strait, Vince Gill, and The Highwaymen. Ricky Skaggs had a number-one hit with Clark’s “Heartbroke.”
Decades passed, but Clark never stopped writing. Allmusic called his 2013 album My Favorite Picture Of You “an intimate set of songs showing that Clark… was still a master songwriter, as good and as elegantly moving as ever.” It won the 2013 Grammy for Best Folk Album.
The Tennessean describes, “Mr. Clark and his wife, Susanna, were ringleaders in a Nashville roots music circus that included luminaries like [Emmylou] Harris, [Rodney] Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Mickey Newbury, Billy Joe Shaver and many more.” Some of his fellow members of the country music community paid their respects on Twitter: