Spencer W. Clark

March 15, 1908 - May 27, 1998

Family moved to New York in 1909. Played mandolin, marimba and clarinet before doing first gigs on 'C' melody sax in New Rochelle, NY around 1923. Specialised on bass sax after hearing Adrian Rollini. Worked in local movie-house orchestra form late 1924. Subbed for Rollini during 1925 and 1926 on record and with the California Ramblers at the Ramblers' Inn. During this period worked briefly with Joe Tenner's Stage Band and played on Atlantic liners with George Carhart (1926). In autumn 1926 led "Little Ramblers" at Ramblers' Inn. With various bands until sailing to Europe with George Carhart in July 1928, with Bud Freeman, Jack Purvis, Babe Russin among others. Worked in France with George Carhart and Danny Polo then joined Julian Fuhs in Berlin. With Lud Gluskin in Europe (on bass sax, trumpet and guitar) from March 1929 until returning to the USA in January 1931. With Ber Lown in New York for most of 1931, briefly with Will Osborne, then with Fred Waring (1932). On trumpet with Ozzie Nelson (late 1932 to early 1933), sax with Irving Conn (1933 - 1936) and with Dick Stabile (1936 - 1938), also worked on string bass during this period. Left full-time music, worked for a newspaper, continued gigging until August 1939, then entered aviation. Worked for commercial and private airlines until moving to Illinois in 1954. Became Purchasing Agent for City of Highland Park, later began playing bass sax again. Worked and recorded with Freddie Wacker's Windy City Seven (1957). Continued to play occasional gigs in the 1960's. Moved to North Carolina in 1971. (from Who's Who of Jazz Storyville to Swing Street - by John Chilton)

  This is Spencer's obituary

 (he wrote it himself)

 

Webster - Spencer W. Clark, 90, of Rock Quarry Road, died Wednesday, May 27, 1998 at the home of his caretaker, and friend, Eugene Frady.

A native of Baltimore, MD, he had lived in Webster since 1971. Son of the late Roy Conner and Ruth Exall Clark. A volunteer for CJ Harris Volunteer Program from 1973 to 1974. Under the sponsorship of Jay Hickes, Herbert Schulman and the Lions Club, he founded Jackson County Humane Society, served as its first President. Served on Jackson County Library Board for 8 years. Drew the building plans for the County Animal Shelter and procured bids for its construction for County approval. He was appointed to the Authority for Low Cost Housing by County Chairman, Wayne Hooper.

He was known as a Musician, formed his own trio with his wife Mary as pianist, Thom Jenkins and Hoyte Roberson, Jr. as drummers. This trio, in addition to performing in Webster for several summers, played in other WNC venues, Maggie Valley, Franklin, Waynesville, Bryson City and Sylva's Court Hill Inn. Preceded in death by his wife, Mary Clark who died in 1996.

Surviving are a daughter, Judith McVity of Lebanon, NH, 9 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

Private services will be held in Webster at a later date.

A final note to Jackson County. With your embracing warmth you have exceeded our fondest dreams. May God Bless you always.

 


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