Jack Clement was born on April 5, 1931, in Memphis, Tennessee, and was interested in music at an early age. After he was discharged from the Army in 1953, he began to work with bluegrass musician Buzz Busby and his band in Washington, D.C. They were seen regularly on the Hayloft Hoedown show in Washington. But already in 1954, Clement returned to Memphis and became friends with Ronald "Slim" Wallace and Clement joined Wallace's country band as a steel guitarist.
|Jack Clement at Sun, ca. 1956|
Clement became an influential figure at Sun during the next months. Phillips assigned him with more responsibilities, for example producing Johnny Cash's recordings from December 1956 onwards. Also in December 1956, Clement supervised Jerry Lee Lewis' audition at Sun and conviced Phillips later to sign the young piano player to Sun.
In March 1959, Clemet was fired by Phillips and branched out on his on with the founding of his first publishing firm Jack Music Inc. The first song published by Jack Music was "Motorcycle Michael" by the Archers on May 1, 1959, which became Summer's second release.
Along with the founding of Jack Music came Clement's record label Summer, located on Main Street in Memphis. The label's first release was by Cliff Gleaves with "Love Is My Business" b/w "Easy Goin' Guy" in 1959. Gleaves, who was a longtime close associate of Elvis Presley, had recorded an earlier version of "Love Is My Business" for Sun in either 1958 or 1959 with Charlie Rich at the piano. This session had been produced by Clement, who took Gleaves to Summer after his break-up with Sun. Later in 1959, Gleaves followed Elvis to Germany. He died in 2002.
The third release was made up of two instrumentals by a certain Sid Elrod (Summer 503). I'm pretty sure this was a pseudonym for Macy "Skip" Skipper (1920-2001), who was a steady performer in Memphis from 1951 on. Judging from the sound of "Slap Happy Bass" / "The Slow Rock and Roll," I believe this was recorded at Sun Studio. Skipper had recorded an earlier version of "Slow Rock and Roll" at Sun in 1956, which remained unissued.
Summer Records did not last very long. No other singles are known after Summer #503 and probably folded soon after its founding in the spring of 1959. Clement, however, kept busy producing records for Pepper, Hi, and Echo (which he co-owned with Clyde Leoppard and Stan Kesler). In the fall of that year, he left for Nashville before moving to Beaumont, Texas, shortly afterwards. He became a highly successful songwriter and record producer. Clement died in 2013.
Easy Goin' Guy (Jack Clement) / Love Is My Business (Quinton Claunch; Bill Cantrell)
S-101 / S-102 (Sheldon)
Motorcycle Michael (Clement; Nelson; Burch) / Golden Girl (Clement; Nelson; Burch)
S-103 / S-104 (Sheldon)
Slap Happy (McNatt; Suggs; Skipper) / The Slow Rock and Roll (Skipper; McNatt)