W.C. Clark death, Blues musician ‘Godfather of Austin Blues’ passed away after a brief illness

 w.c. clark

Huge loss for the Austin music community: The music world is in mourning as the resonant chords of Austin Blues fall silent with the passing of W. C. Clark, fondly known as the “Godfather of Austin Blues.” A legendary figure in Austin’s vibrant music scene, his departure leaves an echoing void, felt deeply by all who cherished his enduring contributions. W. C. Clark’s legacy, forever etched in the annals of Austin’s musical history, will be remembered and missed by generations of music aficionados.

Iconic Austin Blues Figure W.C. Clark Passes Away

Wesley Curley Clark, an American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, began his musical journey singing in an Austin gospel choir during his youth and later took up the guitar in his early teens.

Making his mark in the Austin R&B scene, he joined the Joe Tex band in his early twenties but eventually returned to Austin in the mid-seventies. There, he founded the W.C. Clark Blues Review. Wesley, aged 84, passed away yesterday.

W.C. Clark Cause of death

In Texas today, W.C. Clark, known as “The Godfather of the Austin Blues,” passed away. A steadfast presence on the local scene for decades, he collaborated with almost every musician in town and graced countless venues.

Born in Austin in 1939, W.C. began singing in the church choir as a child before mastering the guitar. Over the years, his influence resonated with numerous musicians, including the young Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Manager Vicky Moerbe has sadly announced the passing of Clark, the celebrated guitarist known for infusing Eastside authenticity into the blues scene on Red River around 1971.

W.C. Clark, aged 84, passed away without a cause of death disclosed, though he had been under hospice care since his last performance at Giddy Ups on February 20. Funeral and memorial arrangements are currently pending.

“The Musical Journey of Clark, Godfather of Austin Blues”

W. C. Clark, born Wesley Curley Clark on November 16, 1939, in Austin, Texas, discovered his passion for music in the church choir as a young boy, initially singing gospel. At the age of 14, he picked up the guitar and later ventured into blues and jazz on the bass guitar in the early 1950s.

By the early 1960s, Clark’s musical talent began drawing attention from notable Texas blues performers like Big Joe Turner, Albert Collins, and Little Johnny Taylor.

Joining the Joe Tex Band and Return to Austin:

In the late 1960s, Clark became part of the R&B Joe Tex Band. Initially leaving Austin, he had a change of heart after a session with local musicians Jimmie Vaughan and Paul Ray during a tour stop in Austin. This led him to return to Austin, becoming a pivotal figure in the city’s blues and rock scene.

W. C. Clark played a significant role in shaping the Austin music landscape during the 1970s. Forming various bands with members like Jimmie Vaughan and Angela Strehli, he laid the foundation for the thriving blues and rock scene. In 1975, he established the W. C. Clark Blues Revue, playing alongside international greats in the 1980s.

During his career, Clark collaborated with iconic musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, and Kim Wilson. In the early 1980s, he also imparted his musical knowledge to future rock prodigies, Charlie Sexton and Will Sexton.

Austin City Limits and Later Years:

In 1990, W. C. Clark showcased his talent on the PBS program Austin City Limits, celebrating his 50th birthday with an illustrious lineup of musicians. Tragedy struck in 1997 when an accident claimed the life of his fiancée and drummer. Despite the setback, Clark continued his musical journey, releasing the album “Lover’s Plea” in memory of his lost loved ones.

W. C. Clark’s enduring legacy lies not only in his musical contributions but also in his role as a mentor, influencer, and integral part of the vibrant Austin music scene.

“Remembering W.C. Clark: Tributes to the Godfather of Austin Blues”

Hays City Store Pays Tribute:

Monday nights at Hays City Store will forever hold the memory of W.C. Clark, a cherished presence on their stage for many years. The venue expresses gratitude for the musical blessings he brought and bids farewell with love. W.C. Clark, born in 1939, now rests in peace.

Tony Menzer Remembers:

W.C. Clark holds a special place in Tony Menzer’s heart, with fond memories of shared moments and fun. As he passed away at home, Tony requests thoughts for W.C. and reflects on the joy he brought into their lives. Until they meet again, W.C. remains in the thoughts of those who knew him.

Austin Mourns a Legend:

Austin Music mourns the loss of W.C. Clark, an integral part of the city’s musical fabric for years. His significant contributions will be remembered and missed eternally. Rest in peace, sir.

Ru Payne Coleman’s Tribute:

W.C. Clark, The Godfather of Austin blues and mentor, peacefully passed away, leaving a void in the hearts of those who admired him. Ru Payne Coleman honors his memory, recalling W.C.’s love for God and the music he generously shared. Losing a friend, family member, and fellow bluesman in one day is an immense sorrow.

MaryAnn Rose’s Farewell:

MaryAnn Rose bids farewell to W.C. Clark, expressing gratitude for his kindness and the music he shared. As the Godfather of Austin Blues, mentor to iconic musicians, and the author of “Cold Shot,” W.C. Clark’s legacy is celebrated and remembered. Rest in peace, WC.


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