W.C. Clark biography
W.C. Clark was born into a musical Austin family on November 16, 1939. His father played guitar and his grandmother, mother, and sisters all sang gospel in the church choir. Clark learned the guitar as a youngster and at age 16 played his first gig at the Victory Grill, where he was introduced to Texas blues legend T.D. Bell. Soon after, Clark switched to playing bass and joined Bell’s band, The Cadillacs. In the early 1960s Clark began a six-year stint with Blues Boy Hubbard and The Jets at the popular Austin nightclub, Charlie’s Playhouse. There he met R&B hitmaker Joe Tex, who recruited Clark to fill the vacant guitar slot in his group. Clark toured the Southern “chitlin’ circuit”, learning music first-hand from Tex and countless soul and blues stars along the way, including Tyrone Davis and James Brown. The R&B stars also taught Clark how to lift an audience into a soul frenzy. When he returned to Austin, W.C. Clark found the musical landscape changing with a whole new crop of young white kids beginning to venture out to the blues clubs to learn how to play. The scene was completely transformed as future stars like the Vaughan brothers, Bill Campbell, Paul Ray, and Angela Strehli came to Austin and discovered the rich musical legacy of bluesmen like W.C. Clark. In the early 1970s, Clark formed Southern Feeling along with singer Angela Strehli and guitarist/pianist Denny Freeman. Clark then met and befriended Jimmie Vaughan’s firebrand guitarist brother Stevie Ray Vaughan, who occasionally sat in with the band. After Southern Feeling dissolved, W.C. Clark took a day job as a mechanic, but was courted relentlessly by Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was determined to have Clark as a member of his own band. Clark eventually quit his job to become the bass player in the Triple Threat Revue with Stevie Ray Vaughan, keyboardist Mike Kindred, drummer Freddie Pharoah and singer Lou Ann Barton. While playing in this band, W.C. Clark and keyboardist Kindred co-wrote Cold Shot, which became one of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s biggest hits and recently earned W.C. Clark his first platinum record. Clark left Stevie Ray Vaughan in the late 1970s and formed his own band, The W.C. Clark Blues Revue, and self-released his first recording, Something For Everybody, in 1986. The band became stalwarts on the Austin scene throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, playing regular gigs at legendary venues like Antone’s. Successful cd releases followed and Clark won several W.C. Handy Awards.
W.C. Clark Summary
W.C. Clark is an innovative and creative artist whose soulful singing and tasty guitar playing reach out from Austin, with soul, to all corners of the music-loving world.