When the movie "Urban Cowboy" came out, Ramblin' Jack Elliott must have laughed because even though he sings like he was raised on the range he was actually born, as he puts it, "on a 45000 acre ranch in the middle of Flatbush." He left home at fifteen to join the rodeo, where he learned to sing cowboy songs, but it was hearing his first Woody Guthrie record that transformed him into the man Sam Shepard called "a wandering, true American minstrel."
Since then he's traveled the world with his guitar and recorded more than forty albums, winning a Grammy and fans from Bob Dylan to Mick Jagger. In giving new life to our most valuable musical traditions, Ramblin' Jack has himself become an American treasure.
- President William "Bill" Clinton