I 'discovered' the people that I consider the great songwriters in the 1970's. I was a young pup back in those days, just getting started in my now 40+ year radio career. But even by then, by 1974 when I started my first job in Winner, South Dakota, I was a huge Kris Kristofferson fan. I had Kris' first few albums, the one's that included his classic's 'Me and Bobby McGee', 'For The Good Times', 'Help Me Make It Through The Night' and, of course, 'Sunday Morning Comin' Down'. But what I discovered was this: Those weren't even the best songs he'd written. To this day, for me, Kris is the greatest songwriter in history.

But what that love for Kris' writing fueled was a love for other songwriter's I 'discovered'.

Back in those 'old days' radio stations would get hundred's of singles and albums from all the artist's....and I mean all the artists. Sure, we'd get the Pride and Cash, the Twitty and Lynn, the Jones and Wynette and whoever else were the biggest star's of the day. And then we'd get albums by artist's that most people had never heard of, and many of those were albums released by the songwriters.

Those were the ones I loved and listened to. And that is how I 'discovered' one of my all time favorite writers, a Texas boy named Guy Clark.

It was in 1975 that I first heard an album called 'Old No. 1' by Guy. It was one of those albums that, every cut...every cut...was a gem. A few of the songs you may be familiar with, like 'L.A. Freeway' or maybe a song Johnny Cash cut called 'Texas 1947'. The song from that very first album that captured me most was a love song called 'Like A Coat From The Cold'. I remember thinking that a beautiful love song that begins with the line 'I've found comfort and courage in bottles of whiskey....', well, that's my kind of writer.

While I must admit 'Old No. 1' remains my favorite Guy Clark album, he followed it up with more great songs and great writing with 'Texas Cookin' in 1976, the self-titled 'Guy Clark' in 1978 and many, many more. And while he never achieved widespread commercial success, he became a hero inside the music industry and a Texas music legend. If you would ask people like Willie Nelson or Emmylou Harris (Or Kris Kristofferson) about Guy Clark, well, you'd realize the impact that Texas fella had on the world of country music, and music in general.

I learned that Guy passed away Tuesday May 17 at the age of 74. And although I never met Guy Clark, I knew him so well through the amazing stories he told in such a unique way. And i will miss this man I never met.

Another of my favorite songs that Guy Clark wrote was called 'Desperado's Waiting For A Train'. It's the beautifully touching story of a young boy and his very best friend, an old man. The Highwaymen included it on their 1985 album. Listen to the genius of Guy Clark below. And Rest In Peace, Guy...and thank you.

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