One of the original music outlaws, Lee Clayton wrote the song “Ladies Love Outlaws” recorded by Waylon Jennings on RCA Records in 1972. It was also recorded by The Everly Brothers in 1973. This song inspired the name of the Outlaw music movement in Country Music. Waylon recorded several Lee penned songs, including "Memories Of You & I" which Sturgill Simpson covered on the Waylon tribute collection released in 2017 called "Outlaw: Celebrating the Music of Waylon Jennings (Live)". Willie Nelson recorded Lee’s “If You Can Touch Her At All”, becoming an instant classic and was featured in the movie Honeysuckle Rose. George Jones and Lynn Anderson also recorded an amazing version of the song, and so did Waylon. Jamey Johnson and Shooter Jennings performed it on CMT Crossroads a few years back.
The Highwaymen, (Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson) recorded his song “Silver Stallion”. It was recently featured in a DVD collection of previously unreleased material called "The Highwaymen Live - American Outlaws" from Sony Legacy. His credits as a songwriter are numerous, including recordings by Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Jeff Walker and Cat Power, among many others.
U2's Bono said, “There is only one country singer that has influenced me, Lee Clayton.” Lee recorded his debut album titled “Lee Clayton” in 1973 for MCA Records to critical acclaim and followed with three albums for Capitol Records. His album, “Border Affair” earned him a nomination for Best New Male Vocalist and was named by Country Music Magazine as the #2 album of the decade. “Naked Child” received the Edison Award (the Holland Grammy) as best Rock-Country album of the year. Clayton's “Another Night” album, released on Pro Vogue Records, was recorded live in Norway. The album received great reviews, and in support Lee toured extensively in Europe for the next several years. In 1994 he recorded “Spirit of the Twilight” in Ireland. In 2014 Repertoire Records released "Live at Rockpalast" a CD/DVD recording of an epic concert from 1979 in Hamburg Germany.
Over the last few years, he has put out several singles, and published his book "The Streets of Nashville (the little book)". The book is Lee Clayton’s compressed glimpse in prose, poetry and lyrics of over 40 years on Music Row in the Nashville music scene.
Today, Lee has an international reputation as a gifted poet, an outstanding singer / songwriter and a dynamic performer.