BIOGRAPHY > INTERVIEWS > QUICK BIO
Jack Clement has scored major musical success as a songwriter, producer,
recording studio pioneer, publisher, artist and executive. He was born April
5, 1931, in Whitehaven, Tenn., near Memphis and enlisted in the Marines as
After four years of service, he toured in a bluegrass band, then returned
to Memphis in 1954. He found work at Sun Records and worked at the mixing
board for recording sessions with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash,
Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Another Sun artist, Elvis Presley, even opened for Clement at the Memphis
club The Eagle's Nest.
In those years, he wrote two of Cash's most enduring
songs, "Ballad of a Teenage Queen" and "Guess Things Happen That Way."
After being fired by Sam Phillips at Sun, he moved to Nashville to work for
Chet Atkins, then relocated to Beaumont, Texas. There, he met George Jones
and convinced him to cut the song, "She Thinks I Still Care." In 1965,
Clement returned to Nashville and financed a demo by then-unknown Charley
Pride and persuaded Atkins to sign him to RCA. Clement also wrote Pride's
first two hits, "Just Between You and Me" and "I Know One," and produced Pride's
first 13 albums for the label.
Clement launched the solo career of Don Williams through his JMI record label,
a project that also introduced Allen Reynolds as a record producer. Reynolds
later produced Garth Brooks, Crystal Gayle, Emmylou Harris, Bobby Bare and
Kathy Mattea. In addition, Clement was Townes Van Zandt's first publisher,
and Bob McDill also wrote for Clement's publishing company. Clement released
his own album, All I Want to Do in Life in 1978.
Beyond country music, Clement produced three tracks for U2's Rattle and
Hum sessions in Memphis and also produced an album for Louis Armstrong. In
other ventures, he built four of Nashville's leading studios, produced a cult
classic horror film and made perhaps the world's first music video on Don
Williams in 1972, nine years before MTV launched.
Clement now operates out of his spacious Nashville home -- with a fully equipped
studio upstairs, a pool in the side yard, hammock out back and all the rooms
wired for filming.
Addendum: In the recent past he has juggled producing sessions on Eddy Arnold,
soundtrack work with T Bone Burnett for the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the
Line, debuting the Robert Gordon-led film documenting his life, reading selections
from his work-in-progress autobiography, hosting a weekly Sirius satellite shows, and keeping up a semi-grueling series of public appearances as well as working on a double-secret special project.
For various perspectives and much greater detail about Jack's life and times, check out the links above. There are many pictures in Friends, hundreds of pages of conversation in Interviews, press coverage in Articles, and a specific chronology with more pictures in Timeline. Of course, check the NEWS pages for wht's been happening since 2004. The recorded output of Cowboy Jack is covered in the DISCOGRAPHY section.
This page dedicated to the memory of Eugene (1993-2006), "the world's smartest cat."