‘Can’t Break It to My Heart’ Songwriter Earl Cranston Clark Dies
Tennessee-based country songwriter Earl has died. He was 70.
Clark notably penned songs for George Strait, Willie Nelson, Tanya Tucker and Tim McGraw, among others. He also saw success writing songs for Tracy Lawrence in the early 1990s. Lawrence’s “Can’t Break It to My Heart” and “Renegades, Rebels and Rogues” were early career achievements for Clark, too, hitting No. 1 and No. 7, respectively, on the country charts. An early cut was “What She Left Behind,” which appeared on McGraw’s self-titled debut in 1993. He also wrote “One Step at a Time,” which Strait cut.
Clark got his start in country music driving tour buses for artists like Ernest Tubb, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Jerry Reed, according to an obituary in My Leader Paper. Also a member of Lumbee Indian tribe, the songwriter is known to be one of the genre’s most prolific Native American storytellers in song. He is reported to have had more than 80 songs published by BMI in Nashville.
A South Carolina native, Clark born on Nov. 24, 1946 in Dillon, S.C. He died on July 7, 2017, in Smyrna, Tenn. Clark is survived by two siblings, including his brother Joe “Fred” and his sister Audrey as well as “two young women he helped raise from a young age,” named Niki Corbert and Quicha Bryson. Additional survivors include his ex-wife Linda, and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Visitation and funeral services for Clark are scheduled for Friday (July 14), at the Chapel Hill Mortuary in Cedar Hill, Tenn. Visitation begins at 11AM, with a funeral to follow.