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ClarkThe Autobiography of Clark Terry$
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Clark Terry and Gwen Terry

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520268463

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520268463.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

First Road Gig

First Road Gig

(p.22) 5. First Road Gig

Gwen Terry

University of California Press

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

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