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R.I.P. “Cowboy” Jack Clement

Cowboy Jack ClementFamed country/rockabilly producer and songwriter “Cowboy” Jack Clement passed away after a battle with liver cancer. He was 82 years old.

Clement’s career in music began at an early age when he learned to play guitar and dobro as a child. After serving in the Marines, he made his first record in 1953, but chose to go to college rather than puruse a music career full-time. After leaving Memphis State University in 1955, he took a job as an engineer and producer at Sun Records, putting him on the ground floor for some of the most important pieces of recorded music in rock history. Clement worked with Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison while at Sun, and he is credited with discovering a young Jerry Lee Lewis.

Clement left Sun in 1961, but his success as an artist and producer continued. His ongoing association with Johnny Cash resulted in the two recording “Ring Of Fire” in 1963; the song became a massive hit for Cash and is still one of the Man in Black’s most recognized songs. He moved to Beaumont, Texas and opened the Gulf Coast Recording Studio. While there, he wrote and recorded songs for George Jones, Dolly Parton, and Porter Wagoner. Later in his life, Clement would produce a few songs on U2’s Rattle and Hum album, and he was the subject of a 2007 documentary titled Shakespeare Was A big George Jones Fan.

Clement is survived by his two children.

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