Singer-Songwriter Guy Clark, Dead at 74

Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Veteran country music singer and songwriter Guy Clark, who wrote decades of hits for some of country’s biggest stars, has died at age 74.

Clark’s biographer reports he died at 3:41 a.m. local time at his Nashville home after years of declining health, and that “his caregiver Joy and Verlon Thompson were at his side.”  Thompson was Clark’s producing and songwriting partner for years.

Though he released 14 studio albums since 1975, winning a Grammy for his last release, 2013’s My Favorite Picture of You, Clark is best known and revered as a songwriter.  His signature hits include Jerry Jeff Walker’s 1972 recording of “L.A. Freeway,” as well as “Desperados Waiting for a Train” the following year.  Since then, his songs have been recorded by a who’s-who of country music – from legends like Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, The Highwaymen and more, to modern stars including Brad Paisley and Kenny  Chesney.

Texas-born Clark was also known as a mentor to up-and-coming artists, which at one time included Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle, the latter of whose songwriting was also heavily influenced by the late Townes Van Zandt, as was Clark’s.

Clark was a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Funeral arrangements are pending, according to his publicist.

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