Fri, Jun 14, 2013.
Larry Wayne Clark was a successful country music songwriter, producer and journalist, one of the rare few Canadians who managed to break into the Nashville scene. Born in Montreal, his early breakthrough happened in Vancouver, eventually leading him to Nashville in the 80's. His songs were recorded by Lee Greenwood and The Statler Brothers, among others, and continued with Canadians such as Lisa Brokop. But when cancer came into his life, Clark moved back to Canada, this time to Saint John, NB, where he had family connections.
While here, Clark continued working with many local artists, including Mike Biggar, with whom he spent long hours and wrote many songs. Last month, Clark lost his long battle with the illness, and now those musicians who knew him best in the area are paying tribute to him. As Biggar wrote in tribute recently, "The richness of Larry's life's work is evidenced not just in the hundreds of songs he penned for a myriad of top-level artists, nor in the unending accolades and recognition he received for his craft. Possibly the greatest record of Larry's success - and that for which I envy him most - is the deep affection he enjoyed from those he worked with. You just couldn't help but love Larry Wayne Clark. Now his legacy lives on in the beautiful music he created, but even more in the beautiful person that he was, and the lives of those he touched."
A celebration of Clark's life and career is happening Sunday, June 16 in Rothesay, at The Barrel's Head GastroPub. The event is scheduled from 3 PM to 5 PM, and will include performances and memories. The singers will be doing songs they wrote with Clark. The line-up includes Melanie Morgan, Biggar, Dann Downes, Ivan Daigle, and B.C. performer Doug Folkins, originally from Saint John. Family members will also share some special thoughts, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. There's no admission, but donations are being encouraged, going to Bobby's Hospice Palliative Care Facility. Anyone unable to attend can visit the hospice online and donate in Larry's memory at http://www.hospicesj.ca/
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).