Cowboy Jack Clement passes away
Thursday, August 8, 2013
– Country Music Hall of Fame inductee-elect "Cowboy" Jack Clement passed away at his home in Nashville after a battle with cancer today at 82.
The Memphis native began his career in 1956 as a producer and engineer for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, working with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Clement was the person who discovered and recorded Jerry Lee Lewis while Phillips was away on a trip to Florida.
Clement produced Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. Clement wrote the song Ballad of a Teenage Queen in 1957, and that became a crossover hit for Cash. Other Cash hits penned by Clement included Guess Things Happen That Way, a chart topper on the country charts and 11 on the pop charges in 1958.
He also wrote The One on the Right Is on the Left a number two country hit in 1966.
He also achieved success as a songwriter with Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Charlie Pride and Tom Jones recording his songs. Clement produced albums by Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt.
In 1987, Clement was approached by U2 to record at Sun Studio in Memphis. Clement wasn't aware of U2, but took the gig and was on "Rattle and Hum."
Clement is slated to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. Services are pending.
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CD reviews for Cowboy Jack Clement
Cowboy Jack Clement's impact on the roots of rock 'n' roll and country music ought not be underestimated. After all, he was there at the beginning, serving as a producer and engineer for Sam Phillips at Sun Records, guiding the careers of its stable of stars in the persons of Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, and discovering the as-yet unknown Jerry Lee Lewis. He subsequently penned much of Cash's early hit repertoire, songs that included "Ballad of a Teenage ...
Although not in the same league vocally as past associates Johnny Cash, Charley Pride, Waylon Jennings and Don Williams, 73 year-old producer/songwriter Jack Clement one-ups most of them on the score of imaginative song selection and simple evocative production chops.
Clement's vocals are sometimes craggy and pitchy, yet his melodic old-timey baritone often proves charming. This is especially true of the absurdly humorous polka-tinged "Drinking Carrot Juice" and scatting Dixieland of "Leavin' Is ...