W. C. Clark
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|W. C. Clark|
W. C. Clark (1996)
|Birth name||Wesley Curley Clark|
|Also known as||Godfather of Austin Blues|
November 16, 1939 |
Austin, Texas, United States
|Labels||Black Top Records
|Associated acts||Triple Threat Revue, W. C. Clark Blues Revue|
W. C. Clark (born Wesley Curley Clark, November 16, 1939) is an American blues musician. He is known as the "Godfather of Austin Blues" for his influence on the Austin, Texas blues scene since the late 1960s.
Clark was born and raised in Austin, Texas, United States, where he sang gospel music in the choir as a young boy. In the early 1950s at age 14 he first learned the guitar, and then later experimented with blues and jazz on the bass guitar.
In the late 1960s, he joined the R&B Joe Tex Band, and left Austin, where he thought the R&B scene had died. But during a tour with the band back through Austin, Clark sat in on bass with younger Austin locals Jimmie Vaughan and Paul Ray at an East Austin club. After the session playing with Vaughan and Ray, Clark changed his mind about Austin.
He left Joe Tex two weeks later and moved back to Austin, where he then remained to guide and inspire numerous Austin musicians and lay the foundation of the prolific Austin blues and rock scene of the 1970s and later.
In the early 1970s, Clark formed an Austin blues quintet named Triple Threat Revue, with members Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton. He also formed several bands with various names, which also included as members Jimmie Vaughan and Angela Strehli.
In 1975, Clark formed the W. C. Clark Blues Revue. Through the 1980s that band played venues with international greats such as James Brown, B.B. King, Albert King, Freddy King, Sam and Dave, Elvin Bishop and Bobby Blue Bland.
By the early 1980s Clark had taught future rock prodigy brothers Charlie Sexton and Will Sexton how to play guitar, while they were still young boys.
In 1990, Clark appeared on the PBS music television program Austin City Limits, with his group W. C. Clark Blues Revue, from a show taped October 10, 1989, in celebration of his 50th birthday, along with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan and Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Lou Ann Barton, Angela Strehli and his former protégé, Will Sexton.
In March 1997, on the eve of Austin's South by Southwest music festival, as Clark and his band were returning from a show in Milwaukee, their van, driven by Clark, veered off the highway and down a steep embankment near Sherman, Texas, injuring his arm and killing his fiancee Brenda Jasek and his drummer, Pedro Alcoser, Jr. The album Lover's Plea followed, containing the single "Are You Here, Are You There?" in memory of Jasek.
- 1987 Something for Everybody (Drippin' DR-1001) (LP; under the name W.C. Clark Blues Revue)
- 1994 Heart Of Gold (Black Top BT-1103)
- 1995 Texas Soul (Black Top BT-1131)
- 1998 Lover's Plea (Black Top BT-1145)
- 2002 From Austin With Soul (Alligator ALCD 4884)
- 2004 Deep In The Heart (Alligator ALCD 4897)
- Stevie Ray Vaughan followed by W. C. Clark Blues Revue, Austin City Limits, 1990
- "2 killed in wreck that injured local blues legend W.C. Clark". Austin American-Statesman, 11 March 1997.
- Hess, Christopher. "Confessin' the Blues", The Austin Chronicle, 3 August 1998.