Clint Black’s portrait at Murphy Style Grill Wall. Black returns to the area where he lived as an infant when he headlines the Count Basie Saturday.
By TOM CHESEK
Pay a visit to Red Bank’s Murphy Style Grill and you’ll encounter muralist Andrew Sabori’s Wall of Fame panorama featuring famous people from New Jersey. Take a closer look and you’ll probably wonder why nestled in with familiar homegrown heroes like Jack Nicholson, The Chairman and The Boss you’ll find the black-hatted country music superstar Clint Black.
Although he forged his traditionalist sound in the honkytonks of his Houston hometurf and despite venturing forth into much of the world from his present Nashville base of operations Black can claim a pedigree on the greater Red Bank green, where he was born 50 years ago and, according to some sources, where his family briefly resided prior to young Clint’s first birthday.
On Saturday, July 28, the platinum-plated singer, songwriter, producer and occasional actor makes a Red Bank homecoming of sorts, when he headlines The Y’s Goin’ Country for Kids a benefit for The Community YMCA and a show that finds the Count Basie Theatre also playing host to another local boy gone country: Little Silver native Greg Trooper.
It’s a road stop that holds special significance for Black, whose 25-year recorded catalog has garnered him more than a dozen number one hits, a trophy case of awards and his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Having met all the Nashville milestones (and dueted with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Monty Python’s Eric Idle), the AMA Favorite New Artist of 1990 entered the new millennium with some of the most intriguing music of his career. He’s also co-starred in a series of family-friendly Flicka flicks, guested in movies and countless TV shows, composed original music for the upcoming stage extravaganza Aussie Adventure, and continues to serve as honorary chair for the nonprofit research and awareness organization International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF).
Scroll on down for our interview with the Man Named Black, and tune in Friday for our interview with show-opener Greg Trooper of Little Silver.