First Road Gig

Gwen Terry

in Clark

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268463
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949782 | DOI:
First Road Gig

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In this chapter, Clark Terry describes the part of his story before he graduated from high school. It was just two months before his march across the stage at commencement as salutatorian of his class that he was kicked out of the school. He also narrates here his encounter with a girl named Sissy, who he eventually married. The marriage was more of a pitiful business than a culmination of an affectionate relationship. It was Clark's brother-in-law, who made him audition for Willie Austin, after which, he was hired to play for Willie's band, and this turned out to be Clark's first gig. Clark shares his experience of making it to this gig, which included his experiences with the Vashon High School Swingsters, the salutatorian ceremony of his class, and finally, his being expelled from the school. Finally, he narrates how saddening it was for him to realize that it was skin color which divided people, as was evident from the audiences at his gig.

Keywords: first gig; Clark Terry; Willie Austin; Vashon High School Swingsters; salutatorian

Chapter.  3026 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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