Daily Dose OF Jazz…

Algeria Junius “June” Clark was born on March 24, 1900 in Long Branch, New Jersey and played piano as a child. He went on to learn bugle and trumpet, playing in local brass bands. Taking a job as a porter in New Orleans, he played in a musical revue called S. H. Dudley‘s Black Sensations, alongside James P. Johnson.

Clark and Johnson parted from the show to play on their own, landing in Toledo, Ohio and playing with Jimmy Harrison in the late 1910s. By 1920 Clark relocated to Philadelphia performing with Josephine Stevens and Willie “The Lion” Smith. He would go on to work in the traveling show Holiday in Dixie, but after a poor run it folded and Clark temporarily took up work in an automobile factory.

Rejoining Harrison soon after as a member of the Fess Williams Band, by 1924 June was in New York City playing with his own band. In the 30s he played with Ferman Tapp, Jimmy Reynolds, George Baquet, Charlie Skeete and Vance Dixon. However, failing health led him to quit music and he became Louis Armstrong’s tour manager.

Suffering from an extended bout of tuberculosis in 1939 Clark was bedridden for several years. After his recovery he worked as a musical advisor and assisted Earl Hines. Giving up music altogether, in the Forties he turned to boxing and became Sugar Ray Robinson’s manager. On February 23, 1963 trumpeter, cornetist, advisor and manager June Clark passed away in New York City.

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