Every Wednesday we take a trip down memory lane to highlight a classic country artist. This week we're flashing back to the early 1990's with Clay Walker.

Clay is from Beaumont, Texas and got his first guitar from his father when he turned nine.  By the time he was 15 he was entering talent competitions and working as a night time desk clerk at the local Super 8 Motel.

After work one night he stopped at one of the local radio stations to drop off a tape of a song he had written.  The morning guy told him he technically could not play Clay's self submitted tape because of station policies but it was so good, he couldn't pass it up.

He graduated from high school and worked for Goodyear while performing as often as he could.  He eventually landed a job as the house singer at a bar called the Neon Armadillo, which is where he was discovered.  He signed on with Giant Records in 1992.

His debut album produced two #1 hits -- What's It To You? and Live Until I Die.  He received lots of praise and critics said he had a voice reminiscent of Conway Twitty.  He released his second album which also did very well.

In 1996, after several tests, Clay was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  He has worked hard to raise money for research and even started his own non-profit, Band Against MS. He hasn't let the diagnosis get him down -- he has released several albums and has continued his fight against MS.

In addition to all that, he's also an author.  Earlier this year, he sat down for an interview to discuss his new book, his music and his health.

The Country Classic Flashback is brought to you by Midwest Machinery on East Highway 23 in Sauk Rapids with 12 other Central Minnesota Locations.