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Cowboy Jack Clement Loses Nashville Home and Recording Studio to Fire

Cowboy Jack Clement
Paul Hawthorne, Getty Images

Legendary musician and record producer Cowboy Jack Clement lost his house of 40 years over the weekend (on Saturday, June 25) when a fire broke out, destroying his home, recording studio and priceless music memorabilia.

Clement, 80, and his girlfriend, Aleene Jackson, were home when the fire started around 2:00PM on Saturday. They both escaped unharmed, along with their three cats and the singer’s vintage guitars, including his prized Gibson J200 which he bought in 1951 while still in the Marines. The guitar had been scratched by Elvis Presley’s belt buckle.

“I got my baby,” Clement’s told reporters after the fire was extinguished. “That guitar means more to me than the house.”

Clement’s home, which was located at 3405 Belmont Blvd. in Nashville, has been the center of his music legend making. The home studio was referred to as The Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa, where Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Eddie Arnold and John Prine spent much of their time. The studio portion of his home was built more than 30 years ago and contained many reel-to-reel master tapes of rare recordings by Cash, Prine, Louis Armstrong and dozens of others, many of which were unreleased. Clement also kept special mementos in his home and studio, including photographs taken by and autographed by Cash, and files on music productions and movie scripts.

“I’m sure we’ve lost some other memorabilia,” said Clement following the fire.

Clement helped develop the careers of Charley Pride and George Jones, and lent his hand outside of country music by producing three tracks for U2’s ‘Rattle and Hum’ sessions in Memphis. He has been the man responsible for many of the legendary productions at the famed Sun Records for Jerry Lee Lewis’ ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’ record, as well as sessions by the late Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Cash and Charlie Rich.

As a songwriter, Clement’s credits include Cash’s ‘Ballad of a Teenage Queen’ and ‘Guess Things Happen That Way,’ Pride’s ‘Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger’ and ‘Just Between You and Me,’ Jennings’ ‘Let All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues).’ He has also had cuts throughout his career by Jones, Ray Charles, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton.

Watch Cowboy Jack Clement Sing ‘Beautiful Beautiful Banjo’

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