Cowboy Jack Clement, legendary record producer and songwriter, died Thursday (Aug. 8) in Nashville at age 82 following a lengthy illness. He had been named as a new member of the Country Music Hall of Fame this past year and was scheduled for official induction in October.
Cowboy Jack was best known as a prolific record producer and worked with a variety of artists, including Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Charlie Rich, Emmylou Harris and John Prine. The Memphis native, born April 5, 1931, began his career as a producer for Sun Records in Memphis. He moved to Nashville briefly in 1960, then worked in Beaumont, Texas. He produced Johnny Cash’s hit “Ring of Fire” in 1963 before returning to Nashville in 1965. One of the first artists he produced in Music City was Charley Pride, whom Jack had encouraged the RCA record label to sign.
Cowboy Jack also achieved fame as a songwriter, with credits including “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and “Guess Things Happen That Way” for Johnny Cash, Bobby Bare’s “Miller’s Cave” and others.
In 2004, the Americana Music Association presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In April of this year, Cowboy Jack was named as one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with Kenny Rogers and Bobby Bare.
We at Country Weekly send our condolences to Jack’s family.