Bulger's Beat: Stars unite to honor Nashville's 'Cowboy' - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: Stars unite to honor Nashville's 'Cowboy'

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

In a town full of boots, belt buckles and twang, only one man can be called "Cowboy."

Soon, a star-studded lineup will come together to pay tribute to one of Nashville's favorite country characters: "Cowboy" Jack Clement.

Clement has had hits as a singer, songwriter and jack-of-all-trades producer on so many great records that came through Music City.

For more than 60 years, music's biggest stars found their way to Clement's studio for a song, an idea or a guitar lick. Elvis, Johnny Cash, Louie Armstrong and U2's Bono have all had "Cowboy" in their career.

He's now 81 years old, still smiling and - most important - still singing his songs.

His career started at attention as a Marine who liked to sing.

"I'd write words at night while doing guard duty, and the next day get the guitar out and put the tune in. That was fun," Clement said.

Now, the musical friends he made through the years will say thank you Jan. 30 at War Memorial Auditorium.

Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, T-Bone Burnett, Charlie Pride, Rodney Crowell and some two dozen others will be there to literally sing his praises.

"It makes me feel pretty good. I'm looking forward to it," said Clement, who's likely to hop on stage, too.

"Cowboy" has always been a character and still is. When asked what he thinks about people calling him a legend, he had a quick, witty response: "I don't mind it. It's kinda cute, and it's still a great way to get girls."

About what makes a song succeed, Clement said it has to be "something you want to sing over and over. You sing it, then they want to hear it and they sing it."

The tribute show will be an extravaganza of country music's greats and is a benefit set to help musicians who don't have health insurance.

Tickets are still available on the TPAC website: http://patron.tpac.org/events/detail/cowboy-jack-clement-war-memorial.

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