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Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan: Cowboy Jack Clement's Home Movies
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: He's been a producer to Elvis Presley and U2, an Arthur Murray dance instructor, best friend to Johnny Cash, Sam Phillips' right-hand man, a U.S. Marine, a slasher-film producer, and he discovered Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride and Townes Van Zandt. This off-the-wall feature about legendary Nashville record producer/performer/artist Cowboy Jack Clement tells the story of his amazing career via home movies longtime friends Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Prine, Bono and many more. Riding the trail between Monty Python and Blazing Saddles, this film inspires with lessons of creativity, mortality, and the risk and glory of a self-made life. Featuring his very close friends Johnny Cash, Bono, Waylon Jennings and Charly Pride. Includes never before seen footage and commentary of legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, Kris Kristofferson and George Jones. Bonus features include a commentary with Cowboy Jack & Alamo Jones.
Cowboy Jack Clement "can't stand seeing a parade go by in a straight line," says an old friend of maverick songwriter-record producer Clement in Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan, a delightfully offbeat documentary. An assistant to Sam Phillips at Sun Records during the late 1950s, Clement was one of the few people in the room when Elvis Presley made his first recordings. He also had a big hand in developing the early careers of Sun artists Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, advising the latter on switching from a country sound to pure rockabilly. Both the late Cash and Lewis appear in Shakespeare, as do quite a few other artists and notable music-industry figures who speak glowingly about Clement's penchant for always challenging prevailing winds of fashion. He is, after all, as Shakespeare tells us in a very funny anecdote, a man who had a hand in introducing Charley Pride, an African-American, to the predominantly white Nashville music establishment.
A former Arthur Murray dance instructor, Clement also wrote for Waylon Jennings, produced John Prine, built a couple of never-completed television specials around himself and his stellar friends, produced a bloody B movie (Dear Dead Delilah), spent most of his life perfecting an arrangement for the tune "Brazil," and even spearheaded this kooky but moving biographical film. Clement, as Kris Kristofferson points out, is a lot like Shakespeare's Falstaff, and he proves an easygoing and hugely fun figure rich in wisdom and love for life. The film basks in Clement's gently surreal sense of humor, takes many side roads, and even engages in a lot of sight gags, most of them provided by Cash. --Tom Keogh
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Writer: (It'll Be Me; Guess Things Happen That Way; Black Jack David; Ballad of A Teenage Queen: etc.) Producer: Johnny Cash, John Prine, Jerry Lee Lewis) Recording Artist and all about bon vivant, lover of life and a man for all seasons.
At last, there is the DVD, Shakespeare Was A Fan of George Jones. Pure pleasure. If there is one problem with the DVD, it is not long enough. The cast of singers who appear include Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Pride, George Jones and a collection of fine musicians.
Jack Clement's music career started out in Memphis and migrated to Nashville, but he never got caught up in the music formulas of Nashville. His charm, his wisdom and his humor are genuinely his. This is a spirited, joyful and funny DVD. And yes, the Johnny Cash Hog Nose observation alone is well worth the price of admission. I hope someone somewhere along the way video taped one of Jack Clement's two hour high holy, bible citing discussions with the great Sam C. Phillips. This DVD is a historical treasure of an important time and place in American Culture. Thank you Jack. No one like you.... now or ever.
I had the opportunity to record at Clementvision studios @'89 or so with Chance Martin who was executive producer of the old Johnny Cash show on ABC. Chance appears on this DVD as the voice of Shakespeare. Engineer David Ferguson whom i worked with on those sessions also appears.
This DVD brought back a lot of memories and gives a good insight behind the scenes with some of Nashvilles heaviest hitters. Also on this DVD is a rare glimpse into a side of Johnny Cash that was seldom scene by the general public. It is said that "Cowboy" was able to bring out the funny and whimsical side of Johnny that a lot of people didn't get to see. This is a MUST for any real Johnny Cash fans.
I would have liked learning more details in contributions to music.
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