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Black, Clint

Clint Black

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

Throughout the 1990s the country charts were dominated by a new young star named Clint Black, a Houston-based honky tonker with an expressive voice and movie star good looks. Black's debut album, Killin' Time, went platinum and spent a phenomenal eight months at number one on the Billboard lists, and he placed no fewer than five singles in the country top ten as well. Few stars have climbed to fame so quickly on the strength of just one album.

"Boy, it's like jumpin' into a car doing eighty," Black told Rolling Stone, of his sudden success. Once the front singer in an anonymous bar band, "I'd pretty much been living off nightclub gigs for the past eight or nine years," Black told Country America magazine. "I made ends meet, but I never could keep up with the bills. Now I find I can keep up with the bills and have a little extra too."

Such modest expectations are typical of Clint Black, a singer who has sought success because he dearly loves to perform. Black was born in New Jersey in 1962, but was raised in Texas, where his father worked as a crane operator. The youngest of four boys, Black barely missed being called Cole by a father who loved Cole Porter. His father backed off the name Cole Black, he told Country America, only "because we thought he'd take a ribbing for it." Black was "painfully short" and described himself in People as "a loner" who "wasn't popular with girls." In high school Black began to pick guitar and sing. He entered a school talent show as a junior and won second place. From then on, he told People, "I took my guitar everywhere I went. I was obsessed."

Soon after he graduated from high school in 1980, Black hit the nightclub circuit in Houston, playing and singing covers of Merle Haggard, Loggins and Messina, Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson, and even Dire Straits. The living was meager, to say the least, and to help make ends meet he also worked in construction. Black slowly began to incorporate his own material into his act, mainly Haggard-esque honky tonk ballads and tales of lost love. In order to publicize his appearances, he used his own pocket money to print flyers that were distributed in the Houston area.

In 1987 Black met guitarist Hayden Nicholas at a gig. Nicholas joined Black's band and began providing tunes for Black's lyrics. The following year, producer Bill Ham (ZZ Top and others) caught Black's performance at a Houston club. Ham was impressed and offered his considerable services to the band. Black recalled in People that Ham asked, "'Clint, do you want to be a star?' And I said, 'Yup.'" Within five months Black had a recording contract with RCA Records. When he arrived in Nashville to cut his album, it was his first time inside a recording studio.

Most country musicians—especially newcomers—record with seasoned studio veterans as backup. Black insisted on recording with his road band, thus preserving the intimate quality of his live work. On Killin' Time, Black sings lead and plays guitar; the album is entirely composed of songs he wrote alone or with Nicholas. Killin' Time was released in 1989, and the debut was auspicious from the start. Black's first single release, "A Better Man," climbed to number one on the country charts—the first debut single to do so in 14 years. Subsequent number one hits from Killin' Time included the title cut as well as "Walkin' Away" and "Nothing's News."

Many of Black's lyrics deal with the consequences of a broken heart. Some of the tunes are traditional heartbreak fare, but others reflect the lessons to be learned from any life experience. In "A Better Man," for instance, Black thanks a departed sweetheart for giving him confidence to pursue his goals. "Walkin' Away," also a hit, suggests that it's best to end a bad relationship and search for "the right one" instead. Black's superhit "Killin' Time" takes the message a step further, in a frank disavowal of "drinking to forget." All of Black's music is Texan in flavor, with a honky tonk beat and steel guitar accompaniment that has become less prominent over time.

During an era when country music made great commercial inroads, Black was among the genre's biggest stars, second only to Garth Brooks. A string of major country hits eventually led to television appearances and sold-out concerts nationwide. His talents as a songwriter and singer notwithstanding, it was probably Black's looks and stage presence that initially helped propel his album to platinum sales. His handsome appearance and pleasant demeanor got him chosen as by People as one of their "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 1991. That was the same year Black crushed a lot of female hearts by marrying singer-actress Lisa Hartman, then hot off the CBS nighttime drama Knots Landing. The Blacks have had a happy marriage and an occasional show-biz partnership that has allowed Clint to wet his feet as an actor, and Lisa to occasionally record an album or appear with her husband on stage.

Black's acting abilities will never earn him the awards or sales that his music has. Despite a 1992 dispute with management that nearly derailed his career, the singer-songwriter kept racking up major country hits up into the early 2000s. A few like "Something That We Do" and "Been There" even enjoyed pop music airplay. After a six-year absence from the recording studio, Black announced that he and Nashville executive Mike Kraski were forming The Equity Music Group, where he released two albums in 2004. The innovative new company has promised to allow its artists ownership in everything they create, from songs and recordings to merchandising. Naturally, much of this label's success will depend on Black's ability to record hit products. Early results have been mixed, with both singles and albums barely scaling the country Top 40.

For the Record . . .

Born on February 4, 1962, in Long Branch, NJ; son of G. A. (a crane operator) and Ann Black; married Lisa Hartman (an actress), October 20, 1991; children: Lily Pearl, born May 8, 2001.

Country singer, guitarist, songwriter, and occasional actor, 1980–; also worked in construction in Houston, TX, and as a bait cutter in Galveston, TX; signed with RCA Records c. 1988-2002; released first album, Killin' Time, 1989; had first number one country single, "A Better Man," 1989; appeared in feature films such as Maverick (1994), and the Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson comedy Anger Management (2003); starred in TV film Still Holdin' On: The Legend of Cadillac Jack Favor, 1998; joined with record executive Mike Kraski to form Equity Music Group, 2004.

Awards: Horizon Award for Career Development, Country Music Association, and Songwriter/Artist of the Year award, Nashville Songwriters Association, 1989; Male Vocalist of the Year, Academy of Country Music, 1990; Male Vocalist of the Year, Country Music Associaton, 1990; Songwriter/Artist of the Year, Nashville Songwriters Association, 1993; Country Music Association Album of the Year Award (with John Anderson, Suzy Bogguss, Brooks & Dunn, Billy Dean, Diamond Rio, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Little Texas, Lorrie Morgan, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, and Trisha Yearwood), for Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles, 1994; Grammy Award, Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, for "Same Old Train," 1998.

Addresses: Record company—Equity Music Group, P.O. Box 331666, Nashville, TN 37203, website: http://www.equitymusicgroup.com. Management—Morey Management, 9255 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 600, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Website—Clint Black Official Website: http://www.clintblack.com.

However, Black is still a big star and is more than satisfied that he has huge audiences for his work wherever he goes. "I have to make sure that I stop and tell myself, 'Wait a minute—this is a moment I've been dreaming about and living for,'" he told Country America. "I used to say, with a sigh, 'I wonder if this could ever happen to me?' Well, this is it!"

Selected discography

Singles

"Killin' Time," 1989.

"Nobody's Home," 1989.

"A Better Man," 1989.

"Nothing's News," 1990.

"Put Yourself in My Shoes," 1990.

"Walkin' Away," 1990.

"Loving Blind," 1991.

"One More Payment," 1991.

"Where Are You Now," 1991.

"Burn One Down," 1992.

"We Tell Ourselves," 1992.

"No Time to Kill," 1993.

"State of Mind," 1993.

"When My Ship Comes In," 1993.

"A Bad Goodbye," 1993.

"Half the Men," 1994.

"Untanglin' My Mind," 1994.

"Whenever You Go," 1994.

"A Good Run of Bad Luck," 1994.

"Life Gets Away," 1995.

"One Emotion," 1995.

"Summer's Comin'," 1995.

"Half Way Up," 1996.

"Like the Rain," 1996.

"Something That We Do," 1997.

"Nothing but the Taillights," 1998.

"The Shoes You're Wearing," 1998.

"When I Said I Do," 1999.

"Been There," 2000.

"Love She Can't Live Without," 2000.

"My Imagination," 2004.

"The Boogie Man," 2004.

Albums

Killin' Time, RCA, 1989.

Put Yourself in My Shoes, RCA, 1990.

The Hard Way, RCA, 1992.

No Time To Kill, RCA, 1993.

One Emotion, RCA, 1994.

Looking For Christmas, RCA, 1995.

Greatest Hits, RCA, 1996.

Nothin' But the Tailights, RCA, 1997.

D'Lectrified, RCA, 1999.

Greatest Hits, Volume 2, RCA, 2001.

Spend My Time, Equity Music Group, 2004.

Christmas with You, Equity Music Group, 2004.

Sources

Books

McCloud, Barry, Definitive Country: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and Its Performers, Perigree Books, 1995.

Stambler, Irwin, and Grelun Landon, Country Music: The Encyclopedia, St. Martin's Griffin, 1997.

Periodicals

Country America, September 1990.

New York, October 2, 1989.

People, September 11, 1989.

Rolling Stone, September 21, 1990.

Online

"Clint Black," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (December 28, 2004).

"Clint Black," Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com (December 28, 2004).

—Anne Janette Johnson andKen Burke

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Black, Clint

Clint Black

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Throughout 1990 the country charts were dominated by a new young starClint Black, a Houston-based honky tonker with an expressive voice and movie star good looks. Blacks debut album, Killin Time, went platinum and spent a phenomenal eight months at number one on the Billboard lists, and he placed no less than five singles in the country top ten as well. Few stars have climbed to fame so quickly on the strength of just one album.

Boy, its like jumpin into a car doing eighty, Black told Rolling Stone of his sudden success. Once the front singer in an anonymous bar band, Black is now hounded by the press and is a headlining entertainer who can draw crowds of 85, 000. Women beg him for locks of his hair and even his fingernail clippings, and in the summer of 1990 fans stood in line all day to get his autograph at a fair in Nashville. Id pretty much been living off nightclub gigs for the past eight or nine years, Black told Country America magazine. I made ends meet, but I never could keep up with the bills. Now I find I can keep up with the bills and have a little extra too.

Such modest expectations are typical of Clint Black, a singer who has sought success because he dearly loves to perform. Black was born in New Jersey in 1962 but was raised in Texas, where his father worked as a crane operator. The youngest of four boys, he barely missed being called Cole by a father who loved Cole Porter. His father backed off the name Cole Black, he told Country America, only because we thought hed take a ribbing for it. Black was painfully short and described himself in People magazine as a loner who wasnt popular with girls. In high school Black began to pick guitar and sing. He entered a school talent show as a junior and won second place. From then on, he told People, I took my guitar everywhere I went. I was obsessed.

Soon after he graduated from high school in 1980, Black hit the nightclub circuit in Houston, playing and singing covers of Merle Haggard, Loggins and Messina, Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson, and even Dire Straits. The living was meager, to say the least, and to help make ends meet he also worked in construction. I hated that kind of work, he admitted in People. Slowly Black began to incorporate his own material into his act, mainly Haggard-esque honky tonk ballads and tales of lost love. In order to publicize his appearances, he used his own pocket money to print fliers which were distributed in the Houston area.

In 1987 Black met guitarist Hayden Nicholas at a gig. Nicholas joined Blacks band and began providing tunes for Blacks lyrics. The following year, producer Bill Ham (ZZ Top and others) caught Blacks performance

For the Record

Born February 4, 1962, in Long Branch, N.J.; son of G. A. (a crane operator) and Ann Black. Education: High school graduate.

Country singer, guitarist, and songwriter, 1980. Has also worked in construction in Houston, Tex. and as a bait cutter in Galveston, Tex. Signed with RCA Records c. 1988; released first album, Killin Time, 1989. Had first number one country single, 1989, with A Better Man.

Band includes Hayden Nicholas (guitar, vocals), Jeff Peterson (steel guitar, dobro), John Permenter (fiddle), Jake Willemain (bass guitar), and Dick Gay (drums).

Awards: Horizon Award for career development from the Country Music Association, 1989; named male vocalist of the year by the Country Music Associaton, 1990.

Addresses: Record company 1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036.

at a Houston club. Ham was impressed and offered his considerable services to the band. Black recalled in People: [Ham] said, Clint, do you want to be a star? And I said, Yup. Within five months Black had a recording contract with RCA Records. When he arrived in Nashville to cut his album, he had never been inside a recording studio before.

Most country musiciansespecially newcomersrecord with seasoned studio veterans as backup. Black insisted on recording with his road band, thus preserving the intimate quality of his live work. On Killin Time, Black sings lead and plays guitar; the album is entirely composed of songs he wrote alone or with Nicholas. Killin Time was released in 1989, and the debut was auspicious from the start. Blacks first single release, A Better Man, climbed to number one on the country chartsthe first debut single to do so in fourteen years. Subsequent number-one hits from Killin Time include the title cut as well as Walkin Away and Nothings News.

Many of Blacks lyrics deal with the consequences of a broken heart. A bachelor, Black has mined his relationshipsespecially the breakupsfor song material. Some of the tunes are traditional heartbreak fare, but others reflect the lessons to be learned from any life experience. In A Better Man, for instance, Black thanks a departed sweetheart for giving him confidence to pursue his goals. Walkin Away, also a hit, suggests that its best to end a bad relationship and search for the right one instead. Blacks superhit Killin Time takes the message a step further in a frank disavowal of drinking to forget. All of Blacks music is Texan in flavor, with a honky tonk beat and plenty of steel guitar accompaniment. Blacks voice has a remarkable range and is strong, full-bodied, and distinctive.

When fame found Clint Black so did women. Fellow honky tonker Buck Owens described Black as the kind of guy youd want to take home to meet your father, if you could trust your mother. His talents as a songwriter and singer notwithstanding, it is probably Blacks looks and stage presence that helped propel his album to platinum sales. Whatever the source of his success, Black is more than satisfied that he finally has huge audiences for his work wherever he goes. I have to make sure that I stop and tell myself, Wait a minutethis is a moment Ive been dreaming about and living for, he told Country America. I used to say, with a sigh, I wonder if this could ever happen to me? Well, this is it!

Selected discography

Killin Time (includes Straight from the Factory, A Better Man, Nobodys Home, Walkin Away, Youre Gonna Leave Me Again, Ill Be Gone, Nothings News, Winding Down, Killin Time, and Live and Learn), RCA, 1989.

Put Yourself in My Shoes (includes Put Yourself in My Shoes, The Gulf of Mexico, One More Payment, Where Are You Now, The Old Man, This Nightlife, Loving Blind, Muddy Water, A Heart Like Mine, and The Goodnight-Loving), RCA, 1990.

Sources

Country America, September 1990.

New York, October 2, 1989.

People, September 11, 1989.

Rolling Stone, September 21, 1990.

Anne Janette Johnson

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"Black, Clint." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Black, Clint." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/black-clint

Black, Clint

CLINT BLACK

Born: Long Branch, New Jersey, 4 February 1962

Genre: Country

Best-selling album since 1990: Put Yourself in My Shoes (1990)

Hit songs since 1990: "A Better Man," "Loving Blind," "Easy for Me to Say"


Clint Black was the first in a wave of fresh-faced artists to emerge from the early 1990s as part of the "new country" music revolution. By infusing his traditional country songwriting with a pop-influenced performing style, he got off to one of the fastest career starts in country music history. Black's career slowed later in the 1990s as similar artists traveled faster on the road that he had paved.

Although born in New Jersey, Black was raised in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston. The youngest of four boys in a musically influenced family, he learned both harmonica and guitar in his teens. Black dropped out of school in 1978 to play in a band formed by one of his brothers and two years later began playing extensively throughout the local Texas club circuit. In 1987 he met fellow guitarist/songwriter Hayden Nicholas, who owned a home recording studio, and they began writing songs together. Their demo tape impressed Bill Ham, the manager of Texas rock icons ZZ Top, and he introduced Black to RCA Records in Nashville, Tennessee. RCA immediately signed the charismatic twenty-five-year-old to a contract and Black's first album, Killin' Time (1989), was a smash success. The debut album astounded country music with five number one hits and won numerous awards, including ones from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM) for Best Male Vocalist.

The following year he released Put Yourself in My Shoes (1990), which also sold well and contained four Top 10 hits including a number one single, "Loving Blind." Ambitious to a fault, Black appeared on scores of television and radio shows in addition to performing extensive concert tours. He infused his live appearances with a natural charm and a fan-friendly energy, often signing autographs until the last person left. The songs, usually co-written with Nicholas, who also played lead guitar in the band, carried easily relatable themes of the traditional country mode. Yet, he was setting groundbreaking standards in a style that was soon followed by other country newcomers such as Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson. His live shows featured expensive production values not previously associated with country music and the music was performed with a gusto and sex appeal more akin to rock or pop music. While it wrinkled the brows of country music traditionalists, much of the public loved it and Black's career was red hot. Along with more awards, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1991 and that same year Black married actress Lisa Hartman.

Black was ready to capitalize on this success with a third album but its release, along with his career, became bogged down in a legal struggle with his manager Ham. After nearly seven months of court battles, he finally released The Hard Way (1992), which produced another number one hit, "We Tell Ourselves." Though the album was successful in both country and pop music charts, subsequent record sales declined. In the developing conflict between "new" and "traditional" country music, many felt that Black's increased pop music appeal was turning away traditional country fans. However, the sales decline was probably more the result of other artists claiming their market share of the burgeoning new country field than it was due to any failing on Black's part.

Subsequent recordings over the next ten years proved Black's amazing ability to write songs that land high on the charts. His albums have produced over twenty Top 10 hits and, while they have not reached the sales height of his first two releases, Black's place in the forefront of country music is solid. He has also enjoyed collaborating with other country stars of every style. In 1991 he sang with the legendary Roy Rogers at the Grand Ole Opry and toured the summer of 1993 with country music diva Wynonna Judd, with whom he recorded the hit duet "A Bad Goodbye." That same year he lent his interpretation to the classic Eagles hit, "Desperado," for their tribute album Common Threads (1993). Often compared to country icon Merle Haggard, they collaborated on writing the hit, "Untanglin' My Mind" in 1994.

Black took on the role of producer for his all-acoustic, D'Lectrified (1999). The album featured guest appearances by Kenny Loggins, Bruce Hornsby, and others including Black's wife. Black and Hartman perform a duet on the hit ballad, "When I Said I Do," and she sings background on two other songs. Two years later, Black and Hartman produced another hit single, "Easy for Me to Say," which was one of the four previously unreleased songs from Greatest Hits II (2001). The celebrity couple enjoyed the birth of a daughter, Lily Pearl, in 2000.

Black's records have sold over 18 million copies and his numerous performer awards include a Grammy. He has also been honored nine times by the Nashville Songwriters Association, and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital named him 2001 Celebrity of the Year for his relentless charity fundraising on their behalf. In 1996 he received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Black is a down-to-earth superstar who loves his fans and continues to find wonder in the process of writing a song and helping it develop.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Killin' Time ( RCA, 1989); Put Yourself in My Shoes (RCA, 1990); The Hard Way (RCA, 1992); No Time to Kill (RCA, 1993); One Emotion (RCA, 1994); Looking for Christmas (RCA, 1995); The Greatest Hits (RCA, 1996); Nothin' but the Taillights (RCA, 1997); D'Electrified (RCA, 1999); Greatest Hits II (RCA, 2001).

donald lowe

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"Black, Clint." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/black-clint