Cowboy Jack Clement, famed musician and producer, lost his Nashville home of 40 years in a fire Saturday morning, reports The Tennessean. Jack’s girlfriend, Aleene Jackson, and others escaped the home unharmed. Priceless music memorabilia and memories were lost in the fire.
One possession was saved from the fire, however. “I got my baby,” Cowboy Jack said of a Gibson J200 guitar he bought in 1951 while still in the Marines. The guitar was scratched by Elvis Presley’s belt buckle.
Cowboy Jack has been the producer behind such music as Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” as well as sessions with Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich. He developed the careers of Charley Pride and George Jones and stepped outside the country genre to produce three tracks for U2’s Rattle and Hum album and also produced an album for Louis Armstrong.
The home lost to fire has been the center of Cowboy Jack’s career. He called the place The Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa, and Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Eddy Arnold and John Prine were just a few of the legendary artists that spent time there. In the studio, he stored reel-to-reel master tapes of recordings — many unreleased — by Johnny Cash, John Prine, Louis Armstrong and dozens of others.
“I’m sure we’ve lost some other memorabilia,” Cowboy Jack told The Tennessean. He also kept mementos such as photos taken and autographed by Johnny Cash, files on music products and movie scripts. The home was featured in the documentary Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan: Cowboy Jack Clement’s Home Movies.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.