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Clark, June (actually, Algeria Junius)

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Clark, June (actually, Algeria Junius), jazz cornetist; b. Long Branch, N.J., March 24, 1900; d. N.Y., Feb. 23, 1963. His family moved to Philadelphia in 1908. Clark was taught piano by his mother, then played bugle before graduating to baritone horn and cornet. He worked as a Pullman porter before becoming a professional musician with S. H. Dudley’s “Black Sensations.” Clark and James P. Johnson left the show and worked together in Toledo, Ohio, where they met Jimmy Harrison. In late 1920, Clark returned to gig in Philadelphia, then joined the band accompanying Josephine Stevens for a year. He toured theaters with Willie “the Lion” Smith and with “Holiday in Dixie” show. When the show folded in Detroit, Clark worked in the Buick factory for a while, then rejoined Harrison and played in Fess Williams’ Band. He settled in N.Y., and led his own bands at various venues between 1924–30. He also took his band to Saratoga for summer of 1925 and worked for brief spells with various other leaders. He continued to work in N.Y., occasionally leading his own bands through 1933, then spent two years in Philadelphia. He was back in N.Y., working with other leaders through early 1937, when he quit regular playing due to failing health. He worked for a while as Louis Armstrong’s road manager, then entered Otisville Sanitarium in August 1939, suffering from tuberculosis. He left Otisville in October 1941, worked as musical adviser to various bands, including that of Earl Hines (1944), then became road manager for the famous boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. He remained with Robinson until forced to quit through illness shortly before his death.

Clark, Ossie [next] [back] Clark, Jim - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Social and Economic Impact, Chronology: Jim Clark

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