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Oklahoma Musician Sanford Clark Dies From COVID-19

Sanford Clark - "The Fool"
Sanford Clark - "The Fool"

Rockabilly and country musician Sanford Clark died from COVID-19 on Sunday. He was 85.

Clark had been receiving cancer treatment at Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri before contracting the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press.

Clark was born in Tulsa in 1935 and moved to Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 9. That's where he would meet fellow Oklahoman Lee Hazlewood, who would write and produce his first single and later sign him to a recording contract.

Clark's breakout recording of the Hazlewood-penned song "The Fool" peaked at number seven on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1956. The song was later covered by Elvis Presley and The Animals.

Clark would tour with Ray Price and Roy Orbison and have minor success before retiring from the music business in the late 1960s.

In his book Life, Keith Richards calls Clark "a heavy-duty country singer, very like Johnny Cash" and claims his song "Son of a Gun" was one of the first he learned and performed on stage as a teenager.

Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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