Guy Clark fans, also known as Guyotes, came from far and wide to attend one or both of the Guy Clark Tribute Concerts with Verlon Thompson and Shawn Camp on August 1st and 2nd 2019. Have a look at these maps, created by Tom Watkins. These maps show where the fans were from who purchased tickets online.
The following is an account of the Guy Clark Tribute with Verlon Thompson and Shawn Camp as told by Joe Specht of Abilene, Texas:
We wanted to share the text of two emails sent out to a large group of music history buffs by Joe Specht of Abilene, Texas, who, along with his brother-in-law Ken Wilson of Dripping Springs, was in attendance at the Thursday performance of the Guy Clark Tribute show. Joe is noted music historian and has been collecting information on Guy Clark for many years. Below is the text of the two emails combined, slightly edited by David Murrah. It is an excellent summary of the show.
Thursday morning your humble reporter was behind the wheel and our elder brother-in-law was in shotgun seat leaving Dripping Springs and heading for Rockport via Kyle, San Marcos, Luling, Gonzales, Cuero, Victoria, Tivoli, and Rockport.
Upon arriving, we met-up with Dr. Murrah at the La Palma Event Center. Here David gave us our marching orders: Ken and I were to be responsible for checking tickets for the reserved seating area down front. The Aransas County Historical Society (ACHS), under the leadership of Cheryl Livingston, had been hard at work putting this event together, and they did themselves proud.
We came back over at 4 o’clock for the sound check as Mr. Thompson and Mr. Camp breezed into the parking lot. Verlon remembered us from 2011 West Texas Book & Music Festival, and we got to meet Shawn for the first time. The boys travel lite: two ‘coustic guitars, special mic, and Guy Clark songbook. As they were concluding sound check, I reminded Verlon that he had sung “Abilene” in Abilene. And the boys broke into a good natured, abbreviated version with encouragement from you-know-who (see attachment taken by a sneaky Ken).
The doors opened at 6 o’clock with concert starting at 7:00. Beer and wine was free; bottled water would cost you a buck. We got to reconnect with our pal Tamara Saviano, who had pre-signed copies of Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark with proceeds from sales going to ACHS. In checking tickets, I also met Tamara’s father, a Bostonian with accent to match. Mr. Saviano is, quite naturally, very proud of his daughter’s accomplishments, as are we. Everyone is awaiting the Guy documentary which will premiere at SXSW.
The Clark sisters were present. Briefly said hello to Caro; had more time to chat with Jan. I also met John Jackson, Mary Lucille’s younger brother. John introduced me to Mary Martha Shivers, who is in the classic 1956 photo of the 9th grade class officers (Guy was treasurer) taken in front of the Malt Shop. And the buzz in the air in La Palma Event Center was festive, much like a class reunion.
Dr. Murrah handled the introductions and recognitions. Then it was time for Mr. Thompson and Mr. Camp to work their magic. Kicking things off with “Texas 1947.” Exchanging verses, harmonizing sublimely, fire on the strings. We know, of course, that Verlon is a flattop box master, but Shawn more than held his own. The stories flowed, too, with Verlon sharing most of ‘em. The fact that Mr. Thompson is an Okie and Mr. Camp an Arkie also made for humorous exchanges.
Just before the break, Shawn left the stage apparently not feeling well. At the start of second set, Tamara offered comments on writing the biography and thanking the Rockport folks again for all their assistance. When the boys returned, Mr. Camp explained that he had thrown-up, perhaps suffering from food poisoning … fried red snapper. A perfect segue into “Texas Cooking.” And the boys were off again. Throughout the evening lots of favorites: “Desperadoes,” “LA Freeway,” “Randall Knife,” “Dublin Blues,” etc. And because we were in Rockport, several of Guy’s south coast/gulf songs: ”Boats to Build” et al. Verlon even pulled out “Eaman” (a Clark co-write with Rodney Crowell): “Sing fare the well/Calm seas or swell/Red evening sky/Home and dry.”
And, yes, the boys did include “Let Him Roll” on the play list. And Shawn did sing three of the Sis Draper songs (“Sis Draper,” “Magnolia Wind,” “The Death of Sis Draper.” Furthermore, Shawn and Verlon are talking about recording an album of Sis songs, as Guy and Shawn wrote several more, including “The Ghost of Sis Draper.”
Well, you get the idea. The evening was everything we could have hoped for: a time for reflection, laughter, some tears … a fitting tribute to ol’ Guy Clark. Towards the end, Mr. Thompson sang his own tribute of sorts, “Sideman’s Dream,” and his testimony was a poignant reminder of his twenty-plus years on the road with Guy. Then the boys jumped right into a riotous “Home Grown Tomatoes.” Closing things out with “Old Friends” (written by Guy, Susanna, Richard “Don Ricardo” Dobson). Here Verlon enlisted the audience to join in on the chorus and the room was filled with voices:
Old friends they shine like diamonds
Old friends you can always call
Old friends lord you can’t buy ‘em
You know it’s old friends after all.
We have been adding to the online library of presentation videos and currently have 12 interesting videos available on our Presentation Video page. More recently, we have made audio streaming available for each of the presentations for times when you only want to hear the presentation. On computers, the audio file can be downloaded (usually by right clicking) and added to your music library, as well (e.g. iTunes), and then synced to your smartphone or tablet if you want to listen to them without streaming them online. Some (non-Apple) portable devices may be able to download the audio files directly.
We will continue to add content as it becomes available.
The Aransas County Historical Society now has its own YouTube channel! Check it out. We have uploaded the excellent presentation video by Jerry Brundrett and John Jackson titled “Whatever Happened to Rocky Point?” from our last annual meeting. Make sure you subscribe to the channel so that you can be notified whenever we have a new video for you.
A video of the presentation titled “Whatever Happened to Rocky Point”, about the history of the rocky point for which Rockport was named and the Rockport waterfront is now available for viewing. Please click on this link: Whatever Happened to Rocky Point
This presentation was delivered by Jerry Brundrett and John Jackson on February 26, 2019 at the Aransas County Historical Society Annual Meeting, held at the Aransas County Women’s Club.
We have added PayPal access to the web site so that you may now purchase new memberships or renewals online using a credit card or PayPal account.
The Historical Society weekly workshop will be cancelled for Wednesday 6 Feb 2019. We regret that we have lost a long standing member of the Society, Carol Sparks Keller. Funeral is being handled by Charlie Marshall Funeral Home in Aransas Pass. More details are available on her Memorial Page.
The weekly ACHS workshop meeting held on Wednesdays at 2:00 is now being held at Estelle Stair Gallery. Entry is from the back of the building (front door will be locked). Extra parking is available on Main Street. Hope to see you there!
David Murrah has edited the newsletter for all but the first year and designed the current format. He has been on the ACHS board since February 2003, and is the longest serving member!
He and his wife Ann moved to Rockport in 2000, and sing in the choir at First United Methodist Church. David likes to fish, and he and Ann have now traveled to all 50 states and 34 countries.
David holds a Ph.D. in history and is retired from Texas Tech University and Southwest Museum Service in Houston. He has written or edited six books related to Texas history and more than forty other publications. He is a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and a past president of the West Texas Historical Association and the Society of Southwest Archivists.
He has done a fabulous job of laying out and editing the ACHS newsletter! David has put out all of the publicity for the ACHS, which includes the newsletters, postcards about events, and ads in the newspaper. Thank you, David, we appreciate you very much!
Kam Wagert is a former president of the ACHS and has described David and his contributions very well. The picture of David was in the September 2009 issue where he was interviewing Carol Sparks for the Oral History Project and Kam’s heartfelt writing about him is from the 2013 March Issue of the newsletter. David does a very professional job with the work that he does for the ACHS.
This web page is dedicated to the newsletter. I will be posting new newsletters after giving subscribing members time to enjoy them. I’ll also try and go through back issues and showcase some articles, projects, and photographs that you might enjoy. Past issues are available below, and maybe we can talk David into doing some things for the web site. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
In this issue: From Aransas Bay to Antarctica to Mars: The Work and Exploration of Rockport’s Wayne White • Message from the President – Welcome Back Jeannie Schindler and the October Program • New Board Member • On the Passing of Tom White • Calendar Premier Date Set • Support for Klein Building and Building History • News from Partner Organizations