Country Music Legend Pass Away
Guy Clark, the Texas troubadour who blended high wit with pure poetry and turned it into timeless, vibrantly visual songs like “Desperados Waiting for a Train” and “L.A Freeway,” died today at the age of 74.
Though he had been making guitars and performing in clubs since the mid-60s, Clark did not release his debut album, Old No 1, until 1975, when he was 34. Instead of sounding like the work of a newcomer still finding his way, Old No 1 was a mature collection of 10 finely honed songs, most of which would become staples in the country and folk music community.
Indeed, Desperados Waiting for a Train had already been recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker, Tom Rush and Rita Coolidge before Clark’s version was released. Subsequently it was also recorded by the Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings), Slim Pickens and Nanci Griffith. Further songs from Clark’s debut album, notably LA Freeway, Like a Coat From the Cold and the magical childhood recollection of steam trains, Texas – 1947, came to be regarded as touchstones in his career.