Jack Clement Worked With Some Of Country Music's Best

Aug 9, 2013
Originally published on August 9, 2013 4:45 pm
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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A moment now to remember a longtime fixture in the Nashville music scene. Music producer, engineer, and sometimes songwriter Cowboy Jack Clement. He died yesterday at the age of 82. If Clement had only listened to his parents and become a dentist, this guy might never have been a star.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN' GOIN' ON")

BLOCK: And "Ring of Fire" might not have had its signature sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RING OF FIRE")

BLOCK: Jack Clement spent the early part of his career at Sun Studio in Memphis. That's where he discovered Jerry Lee Lewis and produced Lewis' hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." Clement worked with Elvis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison. He also wrote a couple of songs for Johnny Cash.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BALLAD OF A TEENAGE QUEEN")

BLOCK: Beginning a friendship that extended beyond Sun Studio. In 1963, when Cash was desperate for a hit, he called on Clement to help him record "Ring of Fire."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

BLOCK: That was Cowboy Jack Clement from an interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame. He'll be inducted there in October. Cowboy Jack Clement died yesterday from liver cancer. He was 82.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RING OF FIRE")

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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