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This CD is both albums in their entirety. Colin Walton kindly typed in the liner notes, which are below. The track listing is the same as Old No. 1 and Texas Cookin'.
The fact that Clark never achieved stardom even in the US is almost beyond comprehension. However, his influence on country music from the 70's to the present day is extensive. As a songwriter he had several hits in the country singles chart and the Billboard Top 100, escorted there by among others the likes of Johnny Cash and Jerry Jeff Walker. As a recording artist though he was always hindered by a lack of airplay. Sadly his voice was too rough and gravelly to appease the commercially minded radio stations.
Guy Clark grew up in the west Texas town of Monahans, raised by his grandmother who ran the town's hotel. When he was sixteen Clark got his first guitar and began learning Spanish songs, later moving to Houston where he briefly worked on the folk circuit alongside Kay Oslin (KT Oslin). In Houston he met fellow songwriter Townes Van Zandt with whom he often toured throughout his career.
In the late 60's Clark moved first to San Francisco, where he met his painter and songwriter wife Susanna, and then to Los Angeles. There he worked in the Dobro guitar factory and also found work as a songwriter for Sunbury music. However, they soon tired of the big city, sentiments that he expressed in the song "LA Freeway", and in 1971 headed for Nashville.
Clark slowly established himself in Music City gathering credibility within music circles. Among his admirers was Jerry Jeff Walker who took his version of "LA Freeway" to number 98 in the Billboard Top 100 in 1973. He was becoming hot property in Nashville as one of the city's finest songwriters and most promising artists. He signed his first recording contract with RCA and recorded the 1975 LP Old No.1.
Old No.1 was the best album Clark ever made. Although best known for the tracks "LA Freeway", "Texas 1947", and "Desperadoes Waiting For A Train", every moment on this record is indescribably good. Clark was already an extremely well respected musician and this is perfectly evident when you look at the personnel credited for helping him make this album. One of the highlights would have to be Emmylou Harris' appearance on backing vocals for the chorus of "That Old Time Feeling". Also on the album were members of the Elvis Presley entourage including Mike Leech, Jerry Carrigan, Chip Young, Reggie Young, and David Briggs (who also recorded with Neil Young on several occasions).
For Texas Cookin' most of the same musicians returned to help Clark produce another classic album. This time it had a more Nashville feel, but to compare the two LP's the Texan roots are very apparent in both cases. Clark wrote all the tracks on this LP except for "Black Haired Boy" which he co-wrote with his wife, Susanna. The ballad "Anyhow, I Love You" brought in a combination of musicians to yearn for with Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell on harmony vocals.
Both albums failed to chart despite critical acclaim across the whole music press. Guy Clark should have been a big star, but he failed to beak deep into the public's awareness. It didn't matter to him though, for he was in it for the music, and still is. He left RCA after Texas Cookin' for Warner's where he finally had a few minor chart successes. Today Clark continues to make records and remains Nashville's best kept secret.