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Allen and Dickey Lee followed Cowboy Jack from Memphis to Beaumont, TX in the early 1960s and then back to Nashville a few years later. In Texas, Dickey penned a George Jones standard and had a pop hit, "Patches", as an artist. Allen tended bar at the Tap Room, where they hung out and a music scene happened, got a big cut with the Vogue's "Five O'Clock World", and relocated to Nashville where he wrote for Jack's publishing company
and acted as business manager (he had worked in a bank in Memphis), and eventually got into the production end, starting with another of Jack's writers, Don Williams. In the mid-70s, he bought one of Clement's studios, JACK'S TRACKS, and went through some musically fruitful, though financially lean times, until one day a young Okie destined for stardom knocked on the door. That youngster, pictured in the bottom row below with Allen and engineer Mark Miller at left, is now the owner of the studio, re-christened as ALLENTOWN.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will honor songwriter Allen Reynolds during the quarterly series POETS AND PROPHETS: Legendary Country Songwriters. The program, which honors songwriters who have made a significant contribution to country music history, will take place October 6 at 1:30 p.m. at the Museum's Ford Theater. The in-depth interview will include recordings, photos and film clips from the museum's Frist Library and Archive.
September 21, 2012
You've probably seen it. A revival of Johnny Cash's version of Cowboy's immortal "Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog", famous from 1968's FOLSOM PRISON ALBUM, is now selling cars. That would make for a pretty good year for most songwriters.
Dubbed by Cowboy as "Boy Wonder" some twenty years ago, Shawn Camp co-produced, along with Tamara Saviano, a double album tribute to his frequent writing and touring partner, Guy Clark, that was named Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. The work that featured contributions from a Who's Who of country-folk writers and singers, including Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowell, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, etc. was done over the past couple years between Nashville and Austin.
Over the years Shawn has been part of Cowboy's inner circle, performing in his band, as part of a trio with Billy Burnette, and as writer of the sign-off song for Jack's SiriusXM show. It all started back in 1989 when Shawn came by the house/studio to play on some songs by a young bluegrass band, all of whom - Ron Bloch, the late Butch Baldassari, Chris Jones, and Mike Bub - went on to noteworthy individual careers.
Nice blog post by THE TENNESSEAN'S Peter Cooper, who is not only a songwriter and journalist but a Grammy-nominated producer, about the resurrected studio at the Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa. Many thanks go to Mark Howard, who put it all back together. [photo above: John Partipilo/The Tennessean]
April 5, 2012
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, COWBOY
Jack passes another milestone, the same week Jerry Lee gets married again (7th time's the charm). Here is a short clip of Cowboy jamming with Kenny Malone from the DVD DRUMMING WITH YOUR HANDS. Kenny, incidentally, is the guest interviewee for this month's FRIENDS OF COWBOY NEWSLETTER. You can subscribe here.
After getting his feet wet in the Caribbean, Cowboy continues his 2012 World Tour with a stop at Brown's Diner, Nashville's famous burger joint and world-class songwriter hangout. He'll be putting in a special guest appearance with Wednesday night regulars, the JAY PATTEN BAND. Jay, of course, has been Crystal Gayle's bandleader for two centuries now.
After eight months of restoration, the legendary COWBOY ARMS HOTEL AND RECORDING SPA is born again. Jack and his entourage are moving back in.
As Garth rode the rocketship to stardom, the recordings were being guided back at mission control (better known as JACK'S TRACKS) by Clement disciple, producer Allen Reynolds and his engineer, Mark Miller. Allen, at various stages, had worked for Cowboy as songwriter, business manager, engineer, and bartender, and eventually bought his studio back in the mid-70s. In fact, Garth liked the studio so much, he bought it, and it is heretofore to be known as ALLENTOWN. Brooks even cut Jack's song I Know One on his debut album.
NASHVILLE - The Country Music Association announced today that Garth Brooks, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, and Connie Smith will become the newest members of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.
February 6, 2012
YOU TUBE INTERVIEW
The Cowboy is interviewed by singer/songwriter/budding journalist Jacque Faye about early days at Sun and more.
Dubbed "Boy Wonder" by Cowboy a couple of decades ago, Shawn Camp has more than lived up to his promise as hit songwriter, major and minor label artist, in-demand instrumentalist and back up partner for Guy Clark and John Prine, member of two acclaimed trios - one with Cowboy and Billy Burnette and one with Big Al Anderson and Pat McLaughlin - he now adds "producer" to his credits as musical director for huge critical and now chart success, 'This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark'.
Here's a rare photo from 1951 of soon-to-be-Queen Elizabeth walking down the Capitol steps. Please note the US Marine on the right - one Pvt. Jack H. Clement, soon-to-be-hobnobbing with a different kind of royalty, as he played shows a couple years later with the King, Elvis Presley, then went on to discover Jerry Lee Lewis, form a fifty-year working relationship with close friend Johnny Cash, and continue to this day building a unique career in American popular music (see the several hundred pages of this site). A new book by Sally Bedell Smith chronicles the Queen's life, including the time of this visit whereupon it is revealed that, contrary to her usual staid public demeanor, the future queen would use animated hand gestures and "talk like an Italian" (we would like to see an MTV-type video of this, to the tune of "Walk Like an Egyptian").
Apparently, this photo was in LIFE MAGAZINE at the time, and when the British press got a hold of it, they ran it with a caption something like, "Pardon us, your Highness, but your slip is showing"
From BILLBOARD: "Nashville's music and entrepreneur worlds met under the vaulted ceilings of the Country Music Hall of Fame lobby on Jan. 17 to celebrate the launch of Artist Growth and be entertained by country legend Cowboy Jack Clement. Artist Growth has created a suite of cloud-based artist management tools for web and mobile app. Artist Growth does everything from track finances to help artists schedule their daily tasks while on the road."
On Bobby Braddock's FaceBook page, a spirited discussion broke out among some providers of intellectual property, concerning the SOPA anti-piracy legislation. Picture above a Mt Rushmore of sorts for country songwriters:
An event usually staged the Tuesday before the Tuesday before Christmas, John Prine's WHOLE DAMN FAMILY extravaganza was a week later this year and packed the Station Inn with its usual cast as well as special guests Del McCoury (Del McCoury Band) and Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) CLICK HERE for the only place on the web where you can get a breakdown of the (ir)regular roster. Peter Cooper wrote a review of the show, which name-checks Cowboy as being there "in spirit".
December 6, 2011
Barbara met Roy when she was eighteen years old and made immeasurable contributions to his career as well as his legacy. She passed away 23 years to the day after he did. Her Still Working Music was an active part of the Nashville industry, producing documentaries and publishing songs by Billy Burnette and others, including a 2011 Song of the Year hit by Taylor Swift. Roy was the first artist Jack worked with at Sun Records, and the families have been close for many years. Picture here shows Cowboy clowning with her at his 2005 Dualtone album release party.
TV show was taped - broadcast TBA. Cowboy had not been able make his scheduled appearance with Matt Urmy's Renaissance Rodeo at Hippie Jack Stoddart's FALL FESTIVAL in Crawford, TN. What some might consider the middle of nowhere becomes the center of the Americana universe for the weekend. The rest of the year, Mr. Hippie, along with his kids, small crew, and wife (Mrs. Hippie) produce an excellent series of "live" musical performances, which appear on many public TV stations.
Induction ceremony for Jack Clement, iconic producer for Sun Records, and Billy Burnette, son of Dorsey/nephew of Johnny, took place on Saturday afternoon in Jackson, TN. Performers included Shakedown Combo, Carl Mann, Rayburn Anthony, J M Van Eaton, Shawn Camp, Pete Pritchard, with K9 Kohl, emcee
Billy, has been in the bands of Fleetwood Mac, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan as well as having appeared in 8 movies and charted 20 Billboard songs. Oh, and according to legend, this Hall of Fame's genre was named after him and his cousin, Rocky.
August 15, 2011
Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Cowboy Arms is coming back to life under the watchful eye of Cousin Bob and others. (Photo by C J Flanagan)
These pictures are difficult to look at, particularly for those with memories of the magic that happened in this place. For forty years, Jack's "home" studio captured the sounds of countless musicians, from the most famous in the world to the more obscure.
A devastating fire broke out in the top floor recording studio of Jack Clement's home on Saturday afternoon. Total damage has yet to be assessed, but obviously the losses due to fire, smoke, and water are extensive and, for the most part, irreplaceable. No humans, felines, or guitars were hurt thanks to the fortuitous presence of Aleene Jackson's son Kevin who smelled the smoke and roused Cowboy from his afternoon nap, and due to the heroics of the Nashville firemen who, directed by engineer/bass player David Ferguson, went into the blazing building to retrieve instruments and memorabilia.
Further details and photos from The Tennessean's coverage.
Messages can be sent via the webmaster here
or posted at the Facebook page FANS OF COWBOY JACK CLEMENT
On the new Sirius XM dial, tune to #60 for the Outlaw Country channel to catch Jack and Alamo Saturdays 2pm - 6pm Eastern [rebroadcast Sundays at 4]. Pictured above is the show's producer since its inception, Steve Popovich, Jr. The show debuted April 30, 2005 and has had a number of special guests drop in. See some pics of Cowboy and Alamo in action (inaction?)
After a performance of the hit Broadway show celebrating the informal recording session overseen by Jack Clement some fifty years ago, the Cowboy joins the cast onstage for a romp through his song "It'll Be Me".
(OK, we photoshopped the poster a little.)
Here's another version [from farther out in audience]
The cast is scheduled to appear on the 4th of July TV Special "A Capitol Fourth 2011" on PBS [8pm EDT], performing with Little Richard (?).
April 22, 2011
One of the hippest clubs in the city bumps their hipness quotient up another notch, presenting the legendary Cowboy Jack Clement for a couple of shows. Limited edition portrait, shown above, of Jack drawn by artist and musician Andy Friedman (New Yorker, NY Times, and others) (www.andyfriedmanillustration.com and www.andyfriedman.net), will be available for sale at this website for $100 each signed by Cowboy (link coming soon). $75 if you buy one at the show in New York.
If you can't make it to the Big Apple by tomorrow to hear Cowboy, Jim Rooney and associates will take the stage for one of their irregularly scheduled semi-annual show. You don't know exactly who will show up, but you know they'll be good. CLICK HERE for the only place on the web where you can get a breakdown of the roster.
Join Jack on Twitter here
Americana Night featuring the legendary Cowboy Jack Clement, Riders in the Sky, Chuck Mead, Doc J.J. Johnson, Belmont University's Bluegrass Ensemble, and other special guests. Tickets: $20 (General Admission) / $40 (VIP Package, includes show tickets with priority seating and a pre-show wine tasting at Sunset Grill in Hillsboro Village. The wine tasting, 6-7:30pm, includes a sampling of Lipman Brother's featured wines and hors d'oeuvres, plus a meet and greet opportunity with Cowboy Jack Clement.)
CowboyJackClement.com will be setting up a booth [#79] in the exhibit hall at the annual convention of the FOLK ALLIANCE being held at the Marriott in downtown Memphis. We'll be celebrating all things Cowboy, including the SiriusXM radio show, his newsletter, past and future recordings in which Jack's had his hand, the DVD documentary SHAKESPEARE WAS A BIG GEORGE JONES FAN, etc. Also, represented will be projects of his friends and co-horts --- like John Lomax III's ROOTS MUSIC EXPORTERS and Shawn Camp's current Warner/Reprise release(s) (which recently reached #25 on the American Airplay Chart) and Kenny Malone's DRUMMING WITH YOUR HANDS DVD. Kenny will be giving a clinic on Friday at the convention center. Since one of the themes of the conference will be an ongoing John Hartford symposium, we're going to try to have related CD releases, some of which may be exclusive.
A songwriter round with Billy Burnette and Shawn Camp is scheduled for Saturday evening at a $75 a plate dinner/auction to raise money for the Parents' Association of St. Cecilia, a private, Catholic, college preparatory school for young women, grades nine through twelve, owned and administered by the Dominican Sisters of the St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1860, 4 times named to the Top 50 Catholic High Schools in the US list.
A national poll of country music writers, who contribute to virtually every major print and online outlet, picked Shawn's CD 1994 in the top five of all country reissues for the past year. See [about halfway down the page] the NASHVILLE SCENE 1/27/11 . Others on the list included Hank Sr., Kristofferson, Dixie Chicks, Rolling Stones, Springsteen, Dylan, Waylon, etc.
This follows an interview segment on NPR's All Things Considered [LISTEN HERE] which discussed the unprecedented move by Warner/Reprise of re-issuing the self-titled debut recording as well as putting out this second album 17 years after it was recorded but not released. So, technically, 1994 was not a reissue, but we won't quibble. The "new" album appeared on the Top 40 Americana Music Association's Airplay Chart for 3 months
Click picture above to Buy/Listen to the album
Not to brag on him too much, but Shawn also wrote two of the songs on the Dierks Bentley record that was #2 Album of the Year in this poll and nominated for a Grammy as Country Album of Year. Here he is with the Cowboy rendering one of his tunes at the Bluebird Cafe:
This month's issue of the FRIENDS OF COWBOY Email Newsletter features an extended interview with producer/author/bluegrasser/left-handed guitarist Jim Rooney. You can read it here and sign up for the future issues of the newsletter at our home page. Also, his annual birthday appearance at the Station Inn is taking place on 1/26/11, where he'll be ably supported by his Irregulars, a group whose performances are always fresh --- because they never practice.
Go to FACEBOOK to give thumbs up and/or leave a comment on the Fans of Cowboy Jack Clement page, a work in progress
Terrell was one of the 4 partners, along with Allen Reynolds, Jim Rooney, and Mark Miller, in FORERUNNER MUSIC, the publishing firm headquartered at Jack's Tracks. Many of the hits and album cuts from the heyday of Garth Brooks (current owner of the studio) contributed to its success. She learned the ropes under the tutelage of Bob Webster, who ran Cowboy's publishing arm. She had two sons with her first husband, Curt Allen, who was the mixing engineer on the Rooney-produced "Last of the True Believers" album by Nanci Griffith. Terrell was subsequently married to Hal Ketchum, but had moved to Alaska by herself after the sale of the publishing company in the year 2000. After falling ill she returned to Tennessee, and her last days were spent peacefully under the loving care of Mary Todd, a long-time member of Cowboy's extended family. Read a notice at Tennessean.com, where one can leave a remembrance, here.
Associate and chronicler of Jack Clement over the years, John Lomax III, of the folk music Lomaxes, was presented with the Jo Walker-Meador Award by the Country Music Association (CMA). The Jo Walker-Meador International Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual or company in advocating and supporting Country Music's marketing development in territories outside the United States
A journalist, manager, and wholesale distributor, John has been integrally involved in the successful careers of Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, dulcimer virtuoso David Schnaufer, Kasey Chambers, and, most recently, Sunny Sweeney.
The Renaissance Rodeo Show featuring Cowboy Jack Clement, Scott Miller, Jonell Mosser, RB Morris, Matt Urmy, Jacob Jones, Derek Hoke, Jonathon Sexton, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper
Past issues with links to lively and informative interviews about the history of country music in Nashville as it relates to Cowboy Jack Clement have been posted here. Get the next installment delivered piping fresh to your email box: SIGN UP at the form on our main page
Originally JACK CLEMENT RECORDING STUDIOS, The Sound Emporium is where a lot of records, many of which have become landmarks in country music history, were made. There was a reunion/panel discussion of sorts, and a number of principals, including Jack, Billy Sherrill, David Malloy, Bil VornDik, Jim Williamson, Garth Fundis, Gary Laney,Mike Poston, were in attendance.
Engineer Jim Williamson, one-time manager at Jack's studio, passed away shortly after this reunion. As Peter Cooper noted in the obituary (read the full article):
A two day mini-fest celebrating the life and music of Jack's old buddy and one-time brother-in-law. Clement produced DREAMING MY DREAMS in 1975, and many (including Waylon) considered it Jennings' best album. It was his first to sell a million. Picture above is from the back cover.
The only Englishman to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Assn. Int'l Hall of Fame (it's a long list of Jack's crowd who have followed him there), Roger Cook celebrated his 70th. A phenomenally successful writer in the UK (who could forget I WAS KAISER BILL'S BATMAN?), he and writing partner Roger Greenaway formed David and Jonathan, a duo that had the distinction of being produced by Sir George Martin. ALLMUSIC.COM covers Roger's career pretty well, except the soundtrack work for swinging London spygirl flick MODESTY BLAISE is strangely missing.
Once relocated to Nashville, he found continued success in collaboration with others from Cowboy's circle: Bobby Wood, Crystal Gayle, Allen Reynolds, Don Williams, John Prine. With longtime friend Ralph Murphy, he ran Pic-A-Lic Publishing. And, like Jack, he picks a mean ukelele.
It's the first part of August, and Memphis hosts its most visited tourist season --- Elvis Week, the commemoration of the King on the anniversary of his passing (at the time of the "WoW" signal, which may have been the one scientifically verifiable communication from space aliens --- see this storyfrom NPR.) This year at least there will be a Cowboy Jack Clement appearance at the Back in Memphis Festival. The concert takes place at the Michael D. Rose Theater at the University of Memphis on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 8 PM. Many of the guests are exclusive and will not be at any other Elvis Week event. Call (901) 830-5761 for info.
Jim Rooney and associates will take the stage for their irregularly scheduled semi-annual show. You don't know exactly who will show up, but you know they'll be good. CLICK HERE for the only place on the web where you can get a breakdown of the roster.
28th Birthday Bash Presents : The Jay Patton Band featuring Will Barrow, Ric Lonow, Mike Loudermilk and Toni Sehulster with special guests: Shawn Camp, Cowboy Jack Clement, Ashley Cleveland, Gail Davies, Jimmy Hall.... - 9:00 PM
ONE BRIGHT NIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Generally good reviews for the stage presentation of the events of December 4, 1956 when four of Jack's buddies showed up where he was working. While Sam Phillips had the marketing instincts to call the local paper and get a photographer down there on the double, Cowboy had the perspicacity to actually record the proceedings (It is understandable why, for dramatic purposes, the show apparently fudges this, but somebody should set Wikipedia straight).
For the third time in as many years, Jack is invited to guest on the internationally syndicated radio show PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION with Garrison Keillor, whom Chet Atkins once likened to a contemporary Mark Twain. It all takes place at the Ryman Auditorium and, on Friday, a limited number of tickets were released
A Prairie Home Companion Live Broadcast from the Ryman Auditorium from WPLN 90.3FM
Some fun facts: The Grand Ole Opry moved from the Ryman Auditorium to its current home at Opryland in 1974, just four months before the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion. Earlier that same year, Garrison Keillor found the inspiration for his variety show while researching the Opry for a New Yorker magazine article. Thirty-six years later, A Prairie Home Companion is heard by more than 4 million listeners each week on some 590 public radio stations. You'll no doubt hear the reverence this week as Mr. Keillor and company once again bring their road show to Country Music's mother church for a live broadcast.
On this occasion, Prairie Home regulars will be joined by Steve Wariner, Cowboy Jack Clement, and Gillian Welch sideman's alter-ego band, The Dave Rawlings Machine, among others. The show is sold out, but whatever you're doing from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday or from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, you'll want to have a radio handy and tuned to your local Public Radio station.
SEE THE PICS AND/OR LISTEN
Long-awaited new album from Seattle-based band Marley's Ghost produced by Cowboy Jack Clement, who also makes a guest vocal appearance. Sides were cut on both the Left and Third Coasts. Jack will join the boys for a concert here in Nashville on April 29 at the BELCOURT THEATRE.
There's often a Cowboy connection when they hand out the trophies for folk/country/Americana music. This year congratulations go to Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy for their tribute album to Townes Van Zandt, for whom Jack was the first publisher/producer and lifetime friend and mentor. TOWNES won the Grammy for best Contemporary Folk Album. Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Contemporary World Music Album went to Bela Fleck, who took engineer Dave Sinko to Africa with him to record the soundtrack to the documentary THROW DOWN YOUR HEART. Dave worked many years at the Sound Emporium (formerly JACK CLEMENT RECORDING STUDIOS) under Cowboy's old engineer Garth Fundis.
Pictured above is the actual Grammy presented for spoken word interviews about the CLASS OF '55 from 1986 for which Jack was essentially music director, singing background, and playing guitar. He's credited in the album notes as one of "three great producers", along with Chips Moman and Sam Phillips, partying on the Big Train from Memphis
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