Dec 14 – Clark’s 90th Birthday!

Clark and I wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving! Things are going well here in Arkansas, and the countdown to Clark’s 90th birthday has begun – only 18 more days and counting. Wow! When I asked him what he would like for his birthday, he said, “More birthdays.” He’s still got that great sense of humor. He also said that one of his wishes has already come true – he wanted his autobiography to be published.

Well, I’m happy to say that we’ve got a wonderful publisher, The University of California Press, and the advance copies will be ready this coming spring. We’ll keep you informed about that, but for now, let’s all get ready to celebrate Clark’s birthday.

For all birthday messages, just post your responses, pics, audio track links, etc., in the comments section of this blog. For posting birthday videos for Clark, please put them on YouTube and then put the link in the comments section here. We’ll take it from there.

Clark gets the biggest kick out of hearing things read to him and seeing all of the “new fangled” technology on the internet. I told him that some of his friends want to come here to celebrate his birthday with him, and he smiled a really big smile. So, we’re going to have a big birthday cake with 90 candles, and few people here to jam a little, eat some good food, and share some fond memories. He’s doing pretty well, still practicing his horn, and he still says, “The Golden Years suck!” But he says that he’s glad to “have some years.” Be sure to post your comments as soon as possible because the clock is ticking down to December 14th.

Take care, and many blessings, Gwen.

| Birthday Wishes, Dec 14 - Clark's 90th Birthday | 315 Comments

315 Responses to Dec 14 – Clark’s 90th Birthday!

  1. Happy 92nd, Clark!
    much love,

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  3. Milkshake says:

    Clark & Gwen, Shake and “Lady Blues” (a name you tagged my wife, Christine, with)are diligently praying for your speedy recovery. Hurry up and get well. We’ve heard you’ve been ‘cussing’n fussing’ because you’re anxious to go home from the hospital, so you must be doing better than we expected….:-)) We love you…stay STRONG.
    P.S. The crowd loves it when I do your rendition of “Mumbles”. I love it too!!!…:-))
    From our Hearts to yours,
    Milkshake & “Lady Blues”

  4. Chris says:

    Dear Clark

    Belated birthday wishes to you.
    You don’t know me but I hope you get to hear this. I lost my mother recently in January and your playing and humour has got me by and really lifted my spirit, music is communication and you always tell a happy jolly tale when you play and it’s plain to see you had a lot of fun playing and wasn’t just an act. I can’t get enough of your ‘Mumbles’ it cracks me up. My own Birthday is December 13 and my god daughter, Tanisha, was born December 14 this year, so a few small things in common and I felt compelled to send this note to you. All my best to you and yours and I wish you good health and happiness from Ireland.

    God bless you, you are a good kind humourous person and a living legend.


  5. Eli P says:

    Hi mr Terry! wishing u a many more years of fun and
    creation! we in Israel have heard a lot of good things about u from
    our great teacher. the late Arnie Lawrence. When r u coming back to
    the middle east to show of those chops of yours? All the best, keep
    swinging and “Zei gezint” Eli Tel Aviv Israel

  6. Hi Clark,
    I see my birthday wishes disappeared from the blog. I’m now in Sweden and thinking of the wonderful times we all shared here. I’ll have lunch with Bosse Broberg on Tuesday and I’m sure we will talk about you and all our favorite jazz folks. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!
    Diane Mitchell

  7. cobijazz says:

    Hi, Clark,
    Although Mama D sent the notice to me on Dec 13, I am finally getting to emails of that date (only 1,000 more unread). I am a little slow these days, but quick enough to say how much you mean to me, old friend (and I don’t mean “old” old – I am 85 and you are now 90! I mean “old” as in “long-time” – how long has it been? 50 years?) I’ll never ever forget the lovely days Katherine Cox and I spent in Nice, etc. They were probably the most wonderful days of my life! So much music! And of course your music was at the top of the list! How wonderful it must feel to be as loved as you are, by everyone – for your music, for your sound, for your “mumbles”, for your love and teaching, for the inspiration you’ve been to so many! I’ve been reading all the letters on this blog. You are truly truly loved. And by millions more who may not have received notice of this blog. Just wanted you to know that just because I never write or call, is not an indication of how I feel about you. You will always be on the top of my list of dear friends. And Paul sends his love to you too. When you play again in New York, we’ll be there – as always.
    love, cob

    • Clark says:

      Dear Cobi,

      What a great surprise to hear from you!!! I’m glad to know that you and Paul are still being dear to each other.

      Thanks for all those 50 years of friendship, hope we have many more to come.

      I feel very good and blessed about being remembered by so many beautiful people on this blog. It is very touching.

      Hope to see you and Paul (hi Pablo!) in New York whenever I get a chance to come that way.

      Have a happy Christmas and a great New Year.

      Much love,


  8. Justin Vargo says:

    Mr. Terry,

    I wanted to drop you a line and wish you a happy birthday. I saw you in Cleveland 3 years ago around this time of year. There had been a terrible snowstorm, but the people who braved the roads to see you perform with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra were in for a treat. I still smile when I think of the concert and how excited the members of the orchestra (and the audience!) were that night. Thank you for all of the great music. Take care, and keep on mumbling.


    • Clark says:

      Dear Justin,

      Thanks for a warm memory of a cold night. I, too, remember that snow blizzard, and I’m happy to know that in spite of the storm, you enjoyed my performance.

      I appreciate your birthday wish, and in 2011, I hope that you’ll keep on keepin’ on!

      All the best,


  9. Dear Clark
    On behalf of everyone at Wigan Jazz just wanted to wish you a very happy 90th Birthday. Quite some time now since you played here with Dickie Hawdon (on bass). Last week I chatted with Laurie Holloway who of course was on that now legendary Jazz 625 with Bob Brookmeyer and yourself. Thanking you for all your great music and inspiration. Have a wonderful birthday and a happy Christmas. With best wishes Ian Darrington and all at Wigan Jazz (Lancashire UK)

    • Clark says:

      Howdy Old Chap,

      Sure is nice to hear from somebody who has been on the scene for a while. Those were very memorable days with Bob Brookmeyer and Jazz 625. Please say hello to Laurie for me. I enjoyed lots of good times there in London, it’s one of my favorite cities.

      It’s nice to see Dickie Hawdon’s name mentioned, he’s a great guy and a dear friend of mine.

      Love to you, and all the cats at Wigan jazz. I hope you all enjoy great holiday season.

      Thanks for your nice birthday wish, and all the nice things that you wrote.


  10. Eric Dubbury says:

    Mr. Terry,

    You are such a huge inspiration of mine. Your musicianship, humor, and personality have inspired me to be a better performer in all areas of music. You are one of the artists that has inspired me to pursue Jazz Studies as a major in college. I am thankfulf or your incredible musicianship which has inspired me to continue my path with music. I hope you have a wonderful 90th birthday and have many more to come! Take care and have a wonderful holiday season. If you are ever coming out to the Seattle area please let me know.

    My email is:

    My band director, Jake Bergevin, is a huge fan of yours and I am sure that if you were out here during this school year, that the jazz program at Edmonds Woodway High School would love to have you for a clinic. Once again, happy birthday and thank you for being such a huge force in the realm of trumpet playing and jazz. Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


    Eric Dubbury

    • Clark says:

      Dear Eric,

      Thanks for all of those good things that you said about me – I hope I can live up to them.

      I’m happy to know that I’ve played a small part in helping you to decide to continue in jazz. I wish you all the best.

      Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to come to your area. By the way… If you “Se Attle,” tell him hello for me. 🙂

      I appreciate Jake for being a fan, and for being a part of the jazz education scene.

      I hope you have a Merry Christmas, too, and a Happy New Year.


  11. Todd Weeks says:

    Happy Birthday! I interviewed you back in 2003 when I was writing a book about Hot Lips Page! (Book is called “Luck’s in My Corner: The Life and Music of Hot Lips Page”) You were most helpful! WKCR In NYC played you this week amd it was a joy to hear your music for 24 hours straight! You are a class act!


    Todd Bryant Weeks
    Jazz Dept
    AFM, Local 802
    New York

    • Clark says:

      Dear Todd,

      Glad that my input was a bit of help with your book about “Lips.” He was one of the all-time greats.

      I’m happy that you enjoyed my music on WKCR. It’s always nice to hear that they played my sides for such a long time.

      Hope things are well for you, and that you have a very enjoyable holiday season.

      Please give my love to all the cats at the union.


  12. Enrico Borsetti says:

    Dear Mr. Terry,
    age does not matter, your spirit is young. I wish You more and more years of joy, music and good health.

    A fan from Italy,
    – Enrico Borsetti

    • Clark says:

      Dear Enrico,

      So nice to get a beautiful letter such as yours was.

      Thanks for your well wishes, and I hope that you and your family have a great holiday season.


  13. Norma Oren says:

    I hope you have many more birthdays. I met you in Kansas City, MO when Thw Worlds Greatest Jazz Band was there. My mother and father – law and husband Bob were with me. Father in law is the man that started Yank Lawson in the orchestra business. Have a great life.

    • Clark says:

      Dear Norma,

      I hope that I have a few more birthdays … I’ll drink to that!

      Hats off to your father-in-law for starting my buddy, Yank, in the jazz band business. Yank was a fantastic trumpet player, and a good cat.

      I hope that you have a great life, too, and a Happy New Year.


  14. dani c. ubetagoiena says:

    From San Sebastian_Donostia (Basque Country), happy birthday Mr, Terry Zorionak!!!!!!

    • Clark says:

      Dear Dani,

      Thanks for your beautiful birthday wish. I appreciate your thinking of me.

      During this holiday season, I hope that you and your family have a great time and that it will continue throughout the upcoming new year.


  15. Ben says:

    Mr. Terry,

    I hope you had a great birthday!

    I enjoyed your playing live many times during the years you were involved in the Wichita Jazz Festival and other times you were in the area. Thanks for all the great music!

    —-Ben Urish

    • Clark says:

      Dear Ben,

      Your wish came true, my birthday was definitely unforgettable! Everyone, includiing me, had a great time. Some of my students came, includiing one from Australia, and a few of my old Big Badd Band members were here. The guys brought their instruments and we had a terrific session.

      Happy to learn that my Wichita appearances were pleasing to you. I enjoyed that festival for many, many years.

      Thanks for your letter, and I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season.


  16. Terri Lyne Carrington says:

    Hey Clark, Happy Birthday! I love you and it was great to see you in DC! Hope your birthday was great!
    Terri Lyne

    • Clark says:

      Hi Terri Lyne,

      What a great pleasure to get a happy birthday note from you! It made me very happy.

      I’m glad we had a chance to hang out a bit in D.C. Thanks for hooking up Esperanza’s visit.

      Hope that you and your mom and dad and your baby have a happy holiday and a great 2011.

      Looking forward to seeing you again soon.


  17. Bubba Kolb says:

    Happy Birthday Clark from Laura and myself. What a pleasure it was playing with you at Disney. It was a highlight. I;ll never forget the time you got us to play with you at a local prison. The inmates dug it and I thought what a way to make me never to want to go to prison, just being there. I hope you have 90 more birthdays.

    • Clark says:

      Dear Bubba,

      Sure was beautiful to get a scribe from you.

      I think about you and the good old days when we played lots of things together.

      I know you’re still playing great. May you continue to do so, and may God bless you.


  18. Brian says:

    Happy Birthday Clark. I had the opportunity to actually play with you once many years ago and it was the thrill of a lifetime. I was a student at Housatonic C.C. in Bridgeport Ct. Sonny Costanza was our music dept. chairman and he brought you in to do a concert. Our jazz ensemble played quite a few of your charts and you were kind enough to play a few selections with us.
    I have never forgotten how gracious you were. You are a world class musician but an even better man. Sonny thought the world of you.
    God Bless.

    • Clark says:

      Dear Brian,

      Thank you for your nice compliments and birthday wishes.

      “Memo” was one of my dear buddies, and I really miss him.

      Hope things are going well with you, and shall continue going well.

      Happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year!!!