Songwriter, record producer and music publisher Jack Clement (1931-2013) was one of the most amiable and influential figures in modern country music. Beginning with his work as a producer at the Sun Records studios in the 1950s, the Memphis native helped shape the sound of early rock'n'roll, and in particular the unique style of Johnny Cash. Cash recorded several of Clement's songs, notably Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" and "Guess Things Happen That Way," which were among of the earliest of dozens of hits Clement would compose over the years. In the 1970s, Clement co-founded the JMI record label, where he helped folk-country troubadour Don Williams shape his solo career and distinctive, acoustic-based style. Clement remained a fixture in Nashville for years to come, writing songs, producing artists and grooming talent on both sides of the sound booth. As a musician, his output was modest, recording only two albums during his lifetime, along with a few singles on various labels. Here's a quick look at his work...
Jack Clement "All I Want To Do In Life" (Elektra, 1978) (LP)
Jack Clement "Guess Things Happen That Way" (Dualtone, 2004)
Jack Clement "For Once And For All" (IRS Nashville, 2014)
(Produced by & David Ferguson & Matt Sweeney)
Before Jack Clement passed away in 2013, he recorded the tracks for this charming album -- only the third in his career -- and his subtle touch as a producer is reflected in this sweet set, released posthumously with the help of T Bone Burnett and a host of high-powered roots/country royalty. Rocker Dan Auerbach joins a studio crew that includes luminaries such as Bobby Bare, Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, John Prine, Marty Stuart and Gillian Welch, as well as Clement's old studio pals Allan Reynolds and Garth Fundis, and a slew of others. The sessions were recorded months before Clement passed away and mainly revisit classic songs Clement wrote as far back as the early '60s, all of which stand up really well. This is a very pleasant record, packed with good humor and well-crafted tunes... I particularly enjoy the mellower tracks, like "Baby's Gone," which evoke the gentle style of Don Williams. All in all, a lovely album, and a fitting tribute to a life and a career well spent.
Hick Music Index