Spencer W. Clark (March 15, 1908 – May 27, 1998) was an American jazz bass saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to bass saxophone, Clark was also competent on mandolin, cornet, trumpet, clarinet, alto and tenor saxes, guitar, xylophone, and string bass, as well as an occasional vocalist.
His first professional experience was on saxophone in a New Rochelle, New York ensemble in 1923. In 1925-26 he subbed for Adrian Rollini in the California Ramblers on record and in movie palaces. He also played with Joe Tenner and George Carhart in the middle of the decade. He accompanied Carhart on an ocean liner gig in an orchestra which included Bud Freeman and Babe Russin.
While in Europe, he played with Danny Polo, Julian Fuhs, french bandleader Ray Ventura and Lud Gluskin. His many recordings with both Ventura and Gluskin in 1929-'30 established Clark as a highly original soloist on his neglected instrument.
Clark returned to New York City in 1931, where he played with Will Osborne, Bert Lown, and Fred Waring, then joined Ozzie Nelson's band as third trumpeter. His last big band gig was with Dick Stabile's orchestra in the late 1930s, where his bass sax anchored a saxophone sextet led by Stabile (which did not record). Clark, who had become a competent choral singer during his days with Waring, also formed part of Tommy Dorsey's original Pied Pipers, a vocal octet that was soon reduced to a quartet.
After the 1930s music became a secondary profession for Clark, who worked for a newspaper, in the airline industry, and as a land purchasing consultant for Highland Park, Illinois. He played with Freddie Wacker's Windy City Seven from 1954, and recorded with them in 1957. Clark continued to perform into the 1970s, when he played Adrian Rollini's role in a re-creation album of Joe Venuti's Blue Four. He retired later in the 1970s to North Carolina; he continued to play there locally in a trio with his wife, Mary Clark.
Birth and Death Data: Born March 15, 1908, Died May 27, 1998
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1936 - 1938
Roles Represented in DAHR: string bass, trumpet
Notes: Mandolin, marimba, clarinet, saxophone, drum, trumpet, vibraphone and bass player.
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-03557||10-in.||12/10/1936||I love you from coast to coast||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Billie Trask||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-03558||10-in.||12/10/1936||The Cuban cabby||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Burt Shaw||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-03559||10-in.||12/10/1936||Summer night||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Burt Shaw||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-03560||10-in.||12/10/1936||A thousand dreams of you||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Frank Fleming||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-03561||10-in.||12/10/1936||Gone||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Burt Shaw||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-03562||10-in.||12/10/1936||Goodnight medley||Dick Stabile Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, string bass|
|Victor||BS-018129||10-in.||1/10/1938||Moments like this||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Burt Shaw||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Victor||BS-018130||10-in.||1/10/1938||In the shade of the new apple tree||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Paula Kelly||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Victor||BS-018131||10-in.||1/10/1938||I simply adore you||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Burt Shaw||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Victor||BS-018132||10-in.||1/10/1938||In old Chicago||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Burt Shaw||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Victor||BS-018133||10-in.||1/10/1938||Lost in the shuffle||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Paula Kelly||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Victor||BS-018134||10-in.||1/10/1938||My first impression of you||Dick Stabile Orchestra ; Paula Kelly||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||instrumentalist, trumpet|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Clark, Spencer," accessed May 22, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112192.
Clark, Spencer. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/112192.
"Clark, Spencer." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 22 May 2022.
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