Guy Clark: 12 Essential Songs

From iconic gunfighter anthems to vulnerable proclamations of love

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"My Favorite Picture of You"

Clark lost his wife Susanna in 2012, after a battle with lung cancer. The two had become the center of Nashville's folk-country songwriting scene in the Seventies, existing as the social hub for a universe that included Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell. But Susanna didn't always love the raucous parties that came with such a role, and one day she was standing outside, pissed off that her husband and Van Zandt were once again stumbling around drunk. Someone snapped a picture, and over 30 years later it became the inspiration for "My Favorite Picture of You," off the album of the same title (it would also be Clark's last). That Clark preferred a photograph where his beloved wife looked pretty, yet peeved, says everything about how he understood humanity – as full of humor, sadness and delightful imperfections. "A curse on your lips, but all I can see is beautiful," he sang to a Tejano-tinged chug of the guitar.

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