Prolific singer-songwriter Guy Clark, whose songs often mined the dusty hardscrabble world of his West Texas childhood, died Tuesday at age 74, according to his manager Keith Case.
Clark, who abandoned touring and performing two years ago due to health problems, is best known as the writer of such Americana classics as “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train,” “Magnolia Wind,” "LA Freeway" and “Magdalene.”
He also was a mentor and recording partner to a slew of country and folk music giants, including Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris.
Clark, who won a Best Folk Album Grammy in 2013 for “My Favorite Picture of You,” was a member of the Nashville Hall of Fame and an honoree of the Academy of Country Music Poets.
Clark was born in the Texas town of Monahans on Nov. 6, 1941, and his family lived at his grandmother’s 13-room shotgun hotel, which according to his official obituarywas “home to bomber pilots, drifters, oilmen and a wildcatter named Jack Prigg, the subject of Clark’s famous song “Desperados Waiting For A Train.”
During his four-decade career, he lived in San Francisco, Oklahoma City and Nashville, recording and performing with folk and country artists and writing songs that often were hits for others, including Ricky Skaggs (“Heartbroke”) and Vince Gill (“Oklahoma Borderline”)
Clark’s wife Susanna died of lung cancer in 2012; he is survived by his son Travis and daughter in law Krista McMurty Clark.