Rick Clark grew up immersed in music in his hometown of Memphis, TN, a place where Rock, R&B and Blues was everywhere. His first records where Sun Records 45's by Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich, as well as New Orleans Dixieland jazz by Sweet Emma & The Preservation Hall Band and raw British Invasion albums by The Yardbirds and The Kinks. Clark regards his first concert, James Brown & His Famous Flames in 1966, as a life-changing event that inspired him to pursue a life in music. By High School, Clark was working in Memphis' main record shop, Poplar Tunes; a place where local artists like Isaac Hayes and Al Green would sometimes hang, as well as every self-respecting band from England who made a pilgrimage there.
During the 70's onward, Clark played live and in sessions, including projects with members of Big Star, Memphis Horns and the seminal Memphis Power Pop scene.
Early on, Clark DJ'ed his own radio show at WLYX-FM Memphis and his enthusiasm for creating great road music mix cassettes earned a rep as a go-to guy for new and great sounds, eventually starting a successful business programming music for every genre in venues throughout the South and other parts of the country. Eventually, he wrote for numerous national publications, including Billboard, Mix, Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, the All-Music Guide, Goldmine and others. He also authored The Expert's Encyclopedia of Recording and, most recently, the third edition of his book Mixing, Recording and Producing Techniques of the Pros.
Over time, Clark began producing and compiling numerous major and indie label album releases, as well as writing liner notes, on artists ranging from Ricky Nelson, Dave Edmunds and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Leo Kottke, Jean Luc Ponty and Big Star. Clark also began working as a curator, music consultant and independent A&R with clients ranging from museums, magazines to films and major label projects.
Meanwhile, Clark's production work in the studio attracted projects with Los Super Seven (an amalgam that included Calexico, Lyle Lovett, Delbert McClinton, John Hiatt, Raul Malo, Freddy Fender, Rodney Crowell and others) and work with Death Cab For Cutie, - music for The Band tribute Lost Highway and the hit TV show Weeds. Clark would also produce 26 shows of Marty Stuart's American Odyssey for Sirius/XM radio, direct two videos on Emmylou Harris for Warner DVD-Audio, compose and produce music for IBM's International Globalnet, as well as have his photography featured in gallery shows, record albums and ad campaigns.
Beginning in 1997, through a recommendation by the legendary producer Jim Dickinson, Clark began work producing, co-compiling and doing all the legal clearance work for what would be the first seven volumes of the award winning Oxford American Magazine music CDs, featuring music ranging from legendary artists like Bob Dylan, Randy Newman and BB King to obscure blues, jazz and Cajun music recordings. The collection quickly earned fans from T-Bone Burnett, Hunter Thompson, Cameron Crowe, Billy Bob Thornton, Orlando Bloom, Dolly Parton, Sidney Pollack and many others. The 2001 Oxford American music issue won The Blues Foundation's prestigious Keeping The Blues Alive award.
In 2012, The Oxford American brought Clark back on to produce their future music issues and CDs, including Lousiana, Texas and the Tennessee music issue which featured a two-CD set.
As a Music Supervisor, Clark's credits include working with Jason Reitman on Up In The Air, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (a film about the critically acclaimed band Big Star), Billy Bob Thornton's Jayne Mansfield's Car, the AMC episodic Western show Hell On Wheels, Oprah Winfrey's gospel drama Greenleaf for the OWN network and Sundance/AMC TV's Hap And Leonard, which was nominated Best Music Supervision in a Television Drama for the 2019 Guild of Music Supervisor Awards.