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Cowboy Jack’s Friday News and Views


This may come as a surprise to some of you considering I live in Nashville, but I don’t really like country music. I enjoy some of the old stuff, say, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and the like, but contemporary country just doesn’t do it for me. (Maybe it’s because I believe men shouldn’t flat iron their hair.) However, I do have an appreciation for the country music industry, which is basically the foundation of Nashville. Everywhere you go, and everyone you meet has some connection to the music industry, whether they be your friend’s “musician” (aka unemployed) boyfriend, your plumber who doubles as a drummer after hours, your favorite dive bar that also hosts one of the best secret songwriter’s nights in town, or, that random family friend that happens to be one of the most well-known men in country music. That man for me was Cowboy Jack Clement, who passed away at the age of 82 on Thursday.

Cowboy Jack was a jack of all trades, working as a recording artist, performer, engineer, songwriter, and producer most of his life. He was born in Memphis, joined the Marines, and once he came back, got a job at Sun Records, the label made famous by Elvis Presley. He discovered Jerry Lee Lewis and worked with other upstarts such as Roy Orbison, and once he moved to Nashville, collaborated with Johnny Cash, Charley Pride, and at one point down the line, Bono. He’s probably most well-known for his work with The Highway Men, aka Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. He produced Johnny Cash’s signature hit, “Ring of Fire” and penned Cash’s “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and “Guess Things Happen That Way,” Waylon Jennings’ “Let’s All Help the Cowboy (Sing The Blues),” and many, many more.

My husband and his dad were close with Jack, and were fortunate enough to be invited over to his house to watch his home videos from time to time. Before you roll your eyes, these weren’t your run of the mill boring videos of family vacations; they were tapes Jack made whenever he and his country music star buddies came over to hang out. He compiled some of them into a documentary, “Cowboy Jack’s Home Movies,” but the best ones never made it out in public, and sadly, were destroyed in 2011 when Jack’s house burned down. Here’s one of those videos, featuring his buddy Johnny Cash:

My husband says one of the funnier memories he has of Jack was the remote control fart machine he kept in his guest bathroom. When his friends went to answer Mother Nature’s call, Jack would mess with them by pressing the button over and over, cracking everyone in the room up, or sometimes just himself. Jack loved to have fun; in fact, the first line of this Country Music Hall of Fame bio is one that I try to keep in mind everyday: “We’re in the fun business. If we’re not having fun, we’re not doing our job.”

Keep rocking on, Cowboy. This news and views is for you.

— After a few weeks of nothing but football news, we finally got some basketball recruiting news on Thursday. First, it was reported that 2014 power forward Angel Delgado trimmed his list to five: Kentucky, Florida State, Virginia, Fordham, and Seton Hall. Now, it’s not every day that the five of those schools lock horns in a recruiting battle. Kentucky is the only school on the list that hasn’t offered Delgado yet, and it’s pretty safe to say that if/when they do, he will be a Cat. Later on, Delgado denied that he was down to five schools via Twitter:

A source tells KSR that Delgado has already decided that if UK offers, he’s coming, even if fellow power forwards Cliff Alexander or Trey Lyles commit to UK as well. Delgado is currently playing for the Dominican Republic National Team, coached by none other than Orlando Antigua, and will attend Huntington Prep this fall, so he will get plenty of opportunities to earn that offer.

— If you listened to the radio show this morning, you may have heard some juicy scoop about this year’s basketball team. Matt spoke to some friends-in-the-know in Lexington yesterday, who told him just how impressive Julius Randle has been this summer. According to this source, “Julius Randle is a star. If there’s a better player in the country, it ain’t many.” The same person said that Randle is farther along than John Wall, Anthony Davis, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were at the same point in their careers. Wow. In addition, the trio of Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, and Marcus Lee look like the best group of big men in the country.


— But wait, there’s more! We’ve got reason to believe that the Cats are now the favorite for former IU commit Trey Lyles, considered the fifth best player in the class by Rivals. Add in Emmanuel Mudiay, the third best player in the class who many think is a heavy UK lean, and Karl Towns, UK’s lone 2014 commitment, and you’ve got a pretty great group so far. Don’t sleep on Stanley Johnson either. He visits for Big Blue Madness in October and is very high on the Cats.

— Speaking of former IU commits, 2014 shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. also decommitted from Indiana on Thursday. Blackmon Jr. (son of former UK player James Blackmon) committed to IU way back in September 2010, and says he wants to be 100% sure of his decision before the signing period. No word yet on if UK is interested, but it is worth noting that Blackmon and Trey Lyles are very close, and the news comes very soon after we heard that Lyles now considers UK his favorite. Hmm….

Two more tidbits: 2014 point guard Tyler Ulis has Kentucky in his final four, along with Michigan State, USC and Iowa (UK hasn’t offered yet). Also, Jahlil Okafor, the number one player in the 2014 class, tweeted today that he does not have a leader, despite rumors that he’s a heavy Duke lean. Earlier this week, Okafor announced he will visit Kentucky for the Alumni Game on September 9th. Could the tide be turning in Cal’s favor?

— In future scheduling news, John Calipari dropped a hint on Twitter Thursday afternoon that a series with UCLA may be in the works. One of Cal’s goals since coming to Kentucky has been chasing UCLA’s eleven national titles, and now that Cal’s buddy Steve Alford is in charge, why not schedule a series between the two?

— Your Nate Willis update: there’s still no word on the JUCO cornerback’s eligibility for this season, but on Thursday night, he tweeted that he hopes to know something by Monday: “I’ll be glad when this class stuff gets handle and I can know what my next move can be… Hopefully I’ll know something by monday! #BBN”

We hope so, too.

— Sadly, there was no media availability after Thursday’s football practice, so there isn’t any news to report. However, FAN DAY is Friday, so if you’ve been waiting to see Stoops’ Troops in person, now’s your chance. Here’s the schedule, along with a map of where the players will be signing autographs:

6 p.m. — Doors open, autograph session begin. Each player can only sign one autograph. Kentucky football posters and schedule cards available outside each gate for fans to pick up entering the stadium for autographs.

7:15 p.m. — Autograph session ends

7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. — Open practice (Note: In the case of inclement weather, the open-practice portion will be canceled because there the Nutter Field House isn’t large enough to accommodate fans.)

9:45 p.m. — FIREWORKS!!!!!! FanDay_2013

That’ll do for now. I’m getting an early start to my weekend, but Drew will be back soon to take you through Friday.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

19 Comments for Cowboy Jack’s Friday News and Views

  1. duh
    11:12 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    You say don’t sleep on Stanley Johnson…Well can I sleep on him if he wants me to?

  2. EK
    11:15 pm August 8, 2013 Permalink

    Mudiay,Johnson Lyles,Booker,Towns….. IN CAL WE TRUST! GO CATS!!

  3. bysketbull nyetski
    12:16 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Thank Ms Tyler for all the basketball info! I knew there was a reason that you’re one of my favorites!

    Go Cats! Get ’em Cal!

  4. KyCatPhish
    12:23 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    That brief memorial to the legend that was Cowboy Jack was really great and well said. Definitely provided a quote to live by as well. I’d never seen that video of Johnny Cash & him before but I think those home movies had to be some of the most interesting and telling videos into who the man was…fun, caring, and more than a little wild. Made me laugh and sentimental to see it as Johnny Cash is my (and most of Nashville’s) favorite country artist. Thanks for sharing the great clip! …oh and UK related stuff too (GO CATS!).

  5. IHateLouisville
    12:30 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Country music died when Waylon and Johnny passed away. And truth be told, Waylon and his son Shooter were UK fans…..

  6. Catfan24
    12:31 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Great Read!!! Lots of awesome info! Thanks

    By the way, I really hope/wish the football field gets painted with that scheme. Blue end zones and Blue UK with white trim. Looks better than the white with blue trim in my opinion.
    Please make that happen!

  7. Heisenberg
    1:03 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    #5 what do you mean “were” Shooter still is. He was at Austin City a few weeks ago wearing a retro UK hat 🙂

  8. SeaCat
    1:19 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Tyler, nice, nice, nice!!!
    Fantastic news about our new
    Cats and our Cats to be (maybe)!!!

  9. IHateLouisville
    1:21 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    #7. I guess I was referring to Waylon more than Shooter. Glad he’s still on board, though. He’s highly underrated as a performer.

  10. Bradley
    5:10 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    I had honestly never heard of Cowboy Jack. Let me say that is without a doubt the best News and Views I’ve seen on this site though. I couldn’t stop reading and the home video was awesome. In fact I’ll be ordering it today. Great job Tyler.

  11. Brow
    6:21 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Lyles made a comment recently that he would like to get a chance to face IU next year. Now uofl has them on the schedule. Also, Mike Hughes from the tard site says uofl will peruse Blackmon. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  12. Dante Exum
    7:39 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    I scared Blackmon, Jr. away from the Hoosiers. I will be playing for IU and you butt-hurt rat faces will cry.

  13. Val
    8:00 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    @kentuckyhot is a must follow on twitter

  14. The Bearded Lady
    8:52 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Cowboy Jack….He’s off to join the world.

  15. RealCatsFan
    10:12 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    I have to say that I’m down with anyone who can appreciate the subtle humor of the fart machine. While on a cruise to the Bahamas my brother and I and a bunch of his friends entertained ourselves (and half the cruise ship) for hours on the transparent elevator on the boat. With the “machine” hidden in a fanny pack, we would board the elevator and wait for an unsuspecting quarry. Between floors we would activate, then all of us would back away from the “perpetrator”. It was great to act like I was 13 again (although my wife says I never stopped.)

  16. ushouldno
    10:16 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    I agree the old country music had more soul than the big hat sound of today. Saw Waylon and Willie in concert many times in the 70’s and early 80’s. Still love Loretta, my favorite lady singer would be Patsy Cline. Thanks for a great story.

  17. barn
    10:23 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    we don’t need to be playing ucla. it only gives them a big stage and would serve to enhance their recruiting.

  18. cotton nash
    11:25 am August 9, 2013 Permalink

    RIP, Cowboy! You will be sorely missed.

  19. Bunny
    3:10 pm August 9, 2013 Permalink

    Great post Mrs TT! Thank you!