Zeke Clements

Induction Year: 1971

Birth Name: Marlon R. Clements

Birth Date: 09-06-1911

Place of Birth: Warrior, Alabama

Death Date: 06-04-1994

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Zeke Clements had years of entertainment experience before he evolved into a hit songwriter. During the 1920s, he left a coal-mining job to tour in vaudeville. Billed variously as "The Dixie Yodeler" and "The Alabama Cowboy," he began a lengthy country radio career in 1929 at the WLS National Barn Dance in Chicago.

Following a stint touring with Otto Gray's Oklahoma Cowboys troupe, he arrived at WSM in Nashville in 1931 and stayed briefly. He moved on to entertain on stations in Detroit, Cincinnati and Philadelphia before returning to Nashville and joining the Grand Ole Opry cast in 1933. He was the first Opry star with a cowboy image. Teaming up with singer Texas Ruby, he worked in Louisville, Des Moines, New York City and Fort Worth during the 1930s. In Hollywood, he auditioned for Walt Disney and was hired as the yodeling voice of Bashful for the 1938 animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Clements eventually appeared in more than 100 films, most of them B-movie Westerns. He returned to the Opry as a solo artist — and an aspiring songwriter — in 1939.

His first songwriting success was with the World War II saber-rattling "Smoke on the Water" in 1944. Clements also wrote the big Eddy Arnold hits "Why Should I Cry," "Just a Little Lovin' (Will Go a Long, Long Way)" and "Somebody's Been Beatin' My Time."

In 1947, he joined the cast of the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport. During the 1950s, he starred on local TV shows in New Orleans, Birmingham, Atlanta and Nashville. Zeke Clements was also a recording artist, issuing singles on the Liberty, Dot, Bullet and MGM labels, among others.

"At the End of Nowhere"

Slim Whitman1958 

"Brown's Ferry Boogie"

Zeke Clements1948 

"Down Panama Way"

(written with Webb Pierce)

Webb Pierce1960 

"Honest I'm Honest with You"

Zeke Clements1946 

"I Dreamed I Spent Christmas in Heaven"

Zeke Clements1948 

"I Heard My Savior Calling Me"

(written with Johnnie Bailes, Kitty Wells)

Hank Williams1951 

"I'll Have to Live and Learn"

Ernest Tubb1945 
Eddy Arnold1945 
Zeke Clements1946 

"It's So Hard to Smile"

(written with Johnnie Bailes, Kitty Wells)

Roy Acuff1948 

"Just a Little Lovin' (Will Go a Long, Long Way)"

Eddy Arnold1948 #1 country, #13 pop
Eddie Fisher1952 #20 pop
Ray Charles1962 
Dean Martin1966 
David Houston1968 
Hot Club of Cowtown2000 

"Me and My Big Loud Mouth"

Little Jimmy Dickens1958 

"My Mother"

Kitty Wells1950 

"Nobody Loves Me"

Zeke Clements1945 
Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys1945 
The Lost & Found1996 

"Send Me Some Money"

Les Paul1956 

"Smoke on the Water"

(written with Earl Nunn)

Red Foley1944 #1 country, #7 pop
Roy Acuff1944 
Bob Wills1945 #1 country
Boyd Heath1945 #7 country
Charlie Louvin2010 

"Somebody's Been Beating My Time"

Eddy Arnold1951 #2 country

"The Guitar Waltz"

Chet Atkins1949 
Zeke Clements1950 

"The Pale Horse and His Rider"

(written with Johnnie Bailes, Ervin Staggs, Kitty Wells)

Roy Acuff1947 
Hank & Audrey Williams1956 

"There's Poison in Your Heart"

Zeke Clements1952 
Kitty Wells1955 #9 country

"Why Should I Cry"

(written with Hank Williams)

Eddy Arnold1950 #3 country
Hank Williams1951 
Freddie Hart1966 #45 country

Zeke Clements

Induction Year: 1971