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About Larry Wayne Clark

Larry Wayne Clark photo
This website is a reflection of my favorite activities, most of which revolve around music…songwriting, record production, and music journalism (in other words, writing about songs, songwriters and productions).

I started playing guitar in my late teens in order to learn songs from my favorite albums. I dabbled at songwriting in those early days too but, largely because I never felt comfortable in the singer-songwriter’s spotlight, I kept my authorial pursuits “in the closet” for a long time. It wasn’t until I turned 30 in Vancouver in 1980 that I started becoming serious about “turning the music into gold,” as John Stewart said once in a song. I became fascinated by the challenge of constructing popular songs for other singers to sing and, in the process, I began to learn about what went on in the studio. The ’80s — thanks to the advent of affordable home studio recordings as well as a plethora of versatile new synthesizers — became an excellent time to explore the art of demo production.

The ’80s also marked an interesting period in what was becoming known as Contemporary Country music, personified by the Judds, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs and George Strait — excellent singers who, best of all, did not write their own songs. Again and again I was told that Nashville — and the style of music it produced — was, for all intents and purposes, the modern day Tin Pan Alley. It was a tantalizing discovery.

Meanwhile, Vancouver was enjoying its own burgeoning country scene as a new FM country station went on the air and country clubs began cropping up throughout the Lower Mainland, many of them offering lessons in something called “line dancing.” It seemed I was in the right place at the right time, writing songs, producing countless demos and occasional records. In time I would hear my songs and productions almost every time I turned on that same FM country station, or so it seemed. I went on to win several awards from the British Columbia Country Music Association, becoming the BCCMA Producer Of The Year from 1990 through ’94.

My attention had begun drifting south, however, to that bigger pond known as Nashville — a place that dared to call itself Music City, and deservedly so. I made my first visit south in 1989 and would return at least once every year after that, co-writing, pitching songs, producing custom projects — in short, networking and soaking up the legendary creative vibe that permeates this unique city with the seemingly bottomless talent pool. Lee Greenwood recorded one of my songs — “Between A Rock And A Heartache” — in the early ’90s. Then the famous Statler Brothers put “To Make A Long Story Short” on an album. I felt validated. It seemed that spending more time in Nashville was inevitable.

In October of ’95 my partner Maggie Ross and I loaded up a shiny new Dodge Caravan with as much of our belongings as space allowed (including two rather baffled cats named Missy and Cleo) and headed east. Nowadays Brainchild Music, our publishing/production company, operates from Nashville, Tennessee and Saint John, New Brunswick, thereby giving us the best of two worlds. Maggie administers and pitches our catalog; I write songs, produce demos and artist projects, and also do some songwriting coaching.

Music journalism, meanwhile, has been a natural extension of all that I’ve done through the years. I’m fascinated with songwriters and producers, as well as great players and pickers. I have a deep respect for this industry we work in and the pioneers who shaped it, many of whom still live and operate in Nashville. I love to talk to these people and to write about them, to help tell their story. I wrote pieces for various publications during my Vancouver days, as well as doing research and conducting interviews for The Country Beat, a CBC-TV program. In Nashville I write CD reviews on a regular basis for Music Row Magazine and my articles appear in Nashville Scene. I also contribute articles to overseas publications such as SongLink and The Songwriter, the International Songwriters Association’s member magazine, based out of Limerick City, Ireland. I’ve been fortunate enough to do lengthy interviews with legendary songwriters Gordon Lightfoot, Hank Cochran, Bobby Braddock, Merle Kilgore, Mel Tillis and Roger Cook among others, and the list continues to grow.

Samples of much of the above will be found on this site. Read and enjoy, and remember — I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and compelling personalities to write about. I look forward to your input.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS - In April 2011 I was inducted into the BC Country Music Hall of Fame. How cool is that!