Guy Clark

Induction Year: 2004

Birth Name: Guy Charles Clark

Birth Date: 11-06-1941

Place of Birth: Monahans, Texas

Death Date: 05-17-2016

Place of Death: Nashville, TN

Considered one of the master craftsmen of Nashville songwriting, Guy Clark is notable for the quality rather than the quantity of his song catalog. During the first 30 years of his career, he issued only 11 studio albums. Yet every song on those collections is a finely polished gem, throwing off sparkling observations and conversational turns.

Clark is a Texas native who initially began performing on the folk circuit in Houston. In 1969, he met Susanna Clark (1939-2012), an accomplished visual artist and soon to be a hit songwriter herself. They married in 1972. He worked as a guitar repairman and as an art director at a television station early in his career. He eventually became a fine woodworker, crafting hand-made guitars.

Clark initially tried his luck on the California music scene. After he was signed as a songwriter by Sunbury Music in Los Angeles, he decided to relocate to the company's Nashville office in 1971. His arrival helped usher in a migration of new songwriting talent to the city. The Clarks' home became a gathering spot for songwriters such as Townes Van Zandt, Mickey Newbury, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle.

Sunbury was affiliated with RCA Records, and this led to Guy Clark's first recording contract. He issued two LPs for RCA in 1975 and 1976, then went to Warner Bros. Records for three albums in 1978, 1981 and 1983. Although critically acclaimed, none of his albums sold particularly well. They did, however, provide successful songs for others, notably Johnny Cash, Bobby Bare and Ricky Skaggs.

His 1989 album Old Friends on Sugar Hill Records earned him a Grammy Award nomination. Signing with Asylum Records, he issued a pair of collections in 1992 and 1995. Returning to Sugar Hill, he received a second Grammy nomination for a 1997 live album, Keepers. The label issued two studio CDs by him in 1999 and 2002.

His songs continued to be sung by his many admirers. Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Foster & Lloyd, Brad Paisley, John Conlee, Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett are just a few who have delved into his catalog.

In 2005, the Americana Music Association honored Clark with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting. Since then, he has had records released on Nashville's Dualtone label. His 2006 collection, Workbench Songs, became another Grammy nominee. In 2012, he became the subject of an all-star tribute album, This One's for Him.

"A Nickel for the Fiddler"

The Everly Brothers1972 
Rita Coolidge1974 
Guy Clark1975 
Jim Ed Brown1975 

"Anyhow I Love You"

Guy Clark1976 
Emmylou Harris2000 
Lyle Lovett2011 

"Baby I'm Yours"

(written with Steve Wariner)

Steve Wariner1988 #2 country

"Blowin' Like a Bandit"

Guy Clark1983 
Asleep at the Wheel1988 #59 country

"Boats to Build"

(written with Verlon Thompson)

Guy Clark1992 
Jerry Jeff Walker1998 
Jimmy Buffett & Alan Jackson2004 
Alan Jackson2007 

"Broken Hearted People"

Guy Clark1976 
Steve Young1976 
Gary Stewart1977 
Ron Sexsmith2011 

"Desperados Waiting for a Train"

Jerry Jeff Walker1973 
David Allan Coe1974 
Rita Coolidge1974 
Guy Clark1975 
Bobby Bare1980 
The Highwaymen1985 #15 country
Nanci Griffith1998 
Mark Chesnutt2010 
Willie Nelson2011 

"Fair Shake"

(written with Rodney Foster, Bill Lloyd)

Foster & Lloyd1989 #5 country
Claire Lynch1997 

"Fools for Each Other"

Guy Clark1979 #96 country
Ed Bruce & Lynn Anderson1986 #49 country


Rodney Crowell1980 
Guy Clark1980 
Ricky Skaggs1982 #1 country
George Strait1982 

"Hemingway's Whiskey"

(written with Joe Leathers, Ray Stephenson)

Guy Clark2009 
Kenny Chesney2010 
Kris Kristofferson2011 

"Homegrown Tomatoes"

John Denver1981 
Guy Clark1983 #42 country
Ray Wylie Hubbard2011 

"Jenny Dreamed of Trains"

(written with Vince Gill)

Mary Chapin Carpenter1992 
Sweethearts of the Rodeo1993 
Vince Gill1996 
John Denver1997 
The Chapmans1999 

"L.A. Freeway"

Jerry Jeff Walker1972 #98 pop
Guy Clark1975 
Spanky & Our Gang1975 
Radney Foster2011 

"Let Him Roll"

Guy Clark1975 
Bobby Bare1981 
Johnny Cash1987 

"New Cut Road"

Emmylou Harris1978 
Guy Clark1981 
Bobby Bare1981 #18 country
Johnny Cash1983 

"Oklahoma Borderline"

(written with Rodney Crowell, VInce Gill)

Vince Gill1986 #9 country

"Old Friends"

(written with Susanna Clark, Richard Dobson)

Guy Clark1988 
Lacy J. Dalton1989 

"Out in the Parking Lot"

(written with Darrell Scott)

Guy Clark1997 
Brad Paisley & Alan Jackson2005 
Darrell Scott2012 

"Rita Ballou"

Guy Clark1975 
The Earl Scruggs Revue1976 
Del Reeves1977 
Vince Gill1989 
Jack Ingram1997 
John Denver1998 

"She Ain't Going Nowhere"

Guy Clark1975 
Rodney Crowell1981 
Nanci Griffith1997 

"She's Crazy for Leavin"

(written with Rodney Crowell)

Guy Clark1980 
Steve Wariner1985 
Rodney Crowell1989 #1 country

"Stuff That Works"

(written with Rodney Crowell)

Rodney Crowell1994 
Guy Clark1995 
Jack Ingram2011 

"Texas 1947"

Guy Clark1975 
Johnny Cash1975 #35 country
Robert Earl Keen2011 

"That Old Time Feeling"

Jerry Jeff Walker1972 
Guy Clark1975 
David Allan Coe1977 
Darrell Scott2008 
Rodney Crowell2011 

"The Carpenter"

Guy Clark1983 
John Conlee1986 #6 country

"The Last Gunfighter Ballad"

Guy Clark1976 
Johnny Cash1977 #38 country
Steve Earle2011 

"The Partner Nobody Chose"

(written with Rodney Crowell)

Guy Clark1981 #38 country

"The Randall Knife"

Guy Clark1983 
Vince Gill2011 

"Too Much"

(written with Lee Roy Parnell)

Pirates of the Mississippi1992 #36 country
Guy Clark1993 

Guy Clark

Induction Year: 2004