Barry McCloud, best known as the author of Definitive Country, has died at age 70.
McCloud died on Sept. 26. His book Definitive Country: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and its Performers was first published in 1995 and remains one of the genre’s essential reference works. He was also a journalist, a photographer, a songwriter, a record producer and an educator. He taught at Belmont University.
McCloud was born and raised in England. He became a performer at age four. As a teenager, he took up the guitar and played in jazz, rock, folk and country bands.
In the 1960s, he operated the largest folk talent agency in the U.K. In the 1970s, he became a booking agent for such bands as Mungo Jerry, Humble Pie and Fleetwood Mac. During this same period, he became a popular disco DJ.
He also fronted the rockabilly band Barry McCloud and His Blue Tears. His British country band was called The Bounty Hunters. His singles have included “Lady Rodeo Rider” and “No Problem.”
McCloud began concentrating on songwriting in the 1980s. His collaborators have included Buddy Cannon, Fred Koller, Don Goodman, Jeff Tweel and Karen Taylor-Good.
He moved to Nashville in 1992. He has operated Barry McCloud Management & Productions for the past 17 years. His Blue Mountain Photography Studio has been in business for the past eight years. He formerly managed Nashville guitar great Muriel Anderson. As a journalist, he has written for Country Song Roundup, Tour Guide Journal and MusicRow. He has also written liner notes for Rhino Records, Varese Sarabande, Scotti Brothers and Readers Digest. He has produced records for the rock band Mr. Blister, bluegrass performer Jimmy Bowen, singer Kacie Edwards and folk artist Terry Duggins.
McCloud worked on his book for more than a decade before publishing it. His widow plans to publish his photographs of country-music celebrities in a coffee-table book.
At the 2008 International Country Music Conference at Belmont, Barry McCloud was presented with the Charlie Lamb Lifetime Achievement Award.
He was a member of the Nashville Association of Talent Directors, the Recording Academy, the International Entertainment Buyers Association and Meeting Professionals International.
Barry McCloud is survived by his wife Tricia Miller McCloud, sons Elliott Saville and Alex Saville, two grandchildren and two step grandchildren. Plans for a jam session in his memory are still being finalized.
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About the AuthorRobert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.
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