Guy Clark, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who gifted the world with such tunes as “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” died Tuesday at his Nashville home. He was 74.
Clark made a living repairing guitars and building Dobros for the Dopyera Brothers Original Musical Instruments Company before delving into folk music. Originally from Monahans, Texas, he moved to Houston in the early ’60s, playing folk music alongside fellow musicians Mickey Newbury and Townes Van Zandt.
He later moved to Nashville after signing a publishing deal, and released his debut album, “Old No. 1,” with RCA in 1975. The record spawned “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” two songs that put Clark’s career on the fast track. His other notable records include “Fools for Each Other,” “Dublin Blues,” “The Partner Nobody Chose” and “Homegrown Tomatoes.”
In 2013, he won the Grammy for best folk album for “My Favorite Picture of You.” Clark released 14 studio albums over the course of his career, in addition to 10 compilations and live albums.
Johnny Cash, Jimmy Buffet, Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris are among the artists who have performed Clark’s songs. In 2011, Nelson, Harris and Rosanne Cash teamed up to release “This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark,” an album featuring covers of Clark’s work.
Clark was a Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee. His wife, Susanna, died in 2012.