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Born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, Clark started out in vaudeville as a child. Later as a teenager, he became a big band musician playing for the Dean Hudson, Ray McKinley and Will Bradley bands. Relocating to California during World War II, after serving in the armed forces, found employment at Paramount Pictures where he performed music on many movie soundtracks.
He was hired by Welk in 1962 to join his orchestra and his television show. For six years, he played both the clarinet, saxophone and flute for a weekly national television audience and on stage when the Music Makers went out on tour.
After leaving the Welk organization, Clark continued to perform on many more movie soundtracks and with numerous artists such as Frank Sinatra and Madonna. He was replaced by reedman Dave Edwards before the new T.V. taping sessions in 1968.
He was married twice, first to big band vocalist Imogene Lynn whom he met while with Ray McKinley's band and later to Kathy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters, the latter whom he met while with Lawrence Welk.
- Mahlon Clark on allmusic.com
- Mahlon Clark on IMDb
- Chicago Tribune obituary
- Los Angeles Times obituary
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