The legendary Texas songwriter Guy Clark turns 72 today.
Born in 1941, Clark has more than 20 albums to his credit, including his 2012 release “My Favorite Picture of You,” written after the death of his wife. The title track is one of the sweetest love songs you’ll ever hear.
Clark is also one of the greatest storytellers in music. His songs are simple, but through the simplicity shines a larger truth about life and what it means to be human.
Lovett said of Clark: “The first time I heard Guy Clark, I thought it made everything I’d heard up to that point something other than a song. His ability to translate the emotional into the written word is extraordinary.”
A longtime Nashvillian, Clark has written and recorded songs for 40 years. Some of those songs have been recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, Steve Wariner and Rodney Crowell.
Clark has performed several times as a part of Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival. He was scheduled to perform at the Tivoli in 2007 as a part of Lyle Lovett’s Texas Songwriter Tour but was replaced at the last minute.
His influence abounds. Artists like Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and Mary Chapin Carpenter all cite Clark as a major influence.
A 2011 tribute album was released called “This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark.” On it, artists like John Prine, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris perform Clark’s songs.
Recently, Clark had to cancel an Oct. 11 performance in Raleigh, N.C., because he was “unable to perform,” according to his website. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery.
One song that has always resonated with my generation is a song called “The Cape,” about a rebellious boy who never learns to “grow up.”
“He’s one of those that knows that life is just a leap of faith,” Clark sings. “Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.”