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Old Joe Clark

December 3, 1985 OHC61 175 min.


Country performer. Born 1922. Died February 20, 1998. Real name: Manuel Clark. Career active 1940s-1990s. Singer, banjo player, and comedian. Best known as a longtime cast member of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance.

Interview Summary

1985 December 3
(1 hour, 55 minutes)
Renfro Valley Barn Dance performer Old Joe Clark talks about the development of his career and the start of his association with Renfro Valley. Discussion includes his childhood and early musical influences; his early career; performing as part of the Prairie Cowboys and Indian River Rangers; a description of his typical medicine show performance, including the comedy skit; experiences working as part of the Lonesome Pine Boys; a description of his typical schoolhouse show; collecting old-time songs; comments on changes in comedy; working at WNOX in Knoxville and memories of Lowell Blanchard; the development of his Old Joe Clark character; working for John Lair; his association with Renfro Valley, including performance descriptions and his comedy style; and working as part of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance road show.

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