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Jack “Cowboy” Clement

March 28, 1977 OH515


Songwriter and producer. Born April 5, 1931. Full name: Jack Henderson Clement. Songwriting credits include “Guess Things Happen That Way,” and “Ballad of a Teenage Queen.” As a producer, his production credits include work for Charley Pride, Waylon Jennings, Wanda Jackson, Don Williams, and U2.

Interview Summary

[ca. 1977]
Printed transcript only. Audio recording not available.
Producer “Cowboy” Jack Clement talks about his career. Discussion includes experiences while working at Sun Studios; his first production work with Johnny Cash; recording “Ballad of a Teenage Queen”; changes in country recording techniques; the early years of his career; a contrast between the musical atmosphere in Memphis and in Nashville; a description of the old Sun Studio; development of the rockabilly sound; the evolution of the Sun sound during his tenure at the studio; starting the Summer Records label; story behind his departure from Sun; memories of Sam Phillips; his songwriting and his publishing company, Jack Music; pitching songs to George Jones; his recording career; working as a country performer in the Washington, D. C. area; working as part of the country comedy duo Buzz & Jack; working for RCA; building a studio in Beaumont, Texas; recording “Patches” for Dickey Lee; moving to Nashville; working with Johnny Cash; memories of Elvis Presley’s early career; memories of Jerry Lee Lewis’s early career; the start of Charley Pride’s career and his work producing and promoting Pride’s early recordings; comments on his business ventures; his second recording studio; starting his own record label; his association with Don Williams; working with Waylon Jennings; producing Tompall & the Glaser Brothers; comments on the Outlaw country movement; and comments on his experiences managing his recording and publishing companies.

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