At various times in his colorful life, he was a record producer, songwriter, performing and recording artist, studio engineer, dance instructor and always a first-rate raconteur. Over his long career, he produced records for an astounding array of artists, including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Eddy Arnold, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Charley Pride, and Emmylou Harris.
Clement was honored during a concert at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium January 2013. Clement's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame was announced in April 2013. Along with Kenny Rogers and Bobby Bare, he was to be officially inducted during a medallion ceremony October 27th 2013.
RELATIONSHIP WITH ELVIS:
Clement's relationship with Elvis Presley dates back to the earliest days of the Elvis' career. In 1954, Clement was a singer and MC for a country band playing a local club called the Eagles Nest when he invited Elvis up to the stage to perform."This was about a month after he got going and he was the talk of the town at that time," says Clement. "I would go up and play and sing, and he'd come up and then I'd have to follow him back up. Elvis would really tear it up. They just loved him. I'd never seen or heard anything quite like it." "Elvis was just a really nice guy, I always liked him."
In 1956, Clement was hired on at Presley's label Sun Records as an engineer, though he arrived at the company just after Sam Phillips had sold Elvis' contract to RCA. Even though Elvis was off Sun and breaking nationally, he still made his way back to the studio at 706 Union Avenue regularly.
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET:
Jack Clement was at Sun Records December 4, 1956 for what would be known as "The Million Dollar Quartet" session. Elvis joined Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis in the studio for an impromptu jam. "I was sitting in the control room, turning up some knobs and I heard what they were doing. I remember I stood up and said 'I'd be remiss if I didn't record this.' So I stuck a tape on, walked out in the studio and moved a few mics around and I just let it run for about an hour and a half or so. Nobody seemed to object." Clement's quick thinking captured a historic summit of rock and roll giants. The moment became mythic, thanks to a well circulated photograph of the four men huddled around a piano. The recording of the session was re-discovered and eventually released in 1987, while an expanded 50th anniversary edition came out in 2006. More recently, the event provided the basis of a hit Broadway play.
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