Old Joe Clark was born in Tennessee. He started in the entertainment business as a ballad singer in the tradition of Bradley Kincaid, but was best known as an old man comedian/banjo player, akin to Grandpa Jones’s act. In 1946, he went to Renfro Valley with a group called the Lonesome Pine Boys, but ended up being the only member of the band that John Lair kept. He worked as a deejay on WRVK in Renfro Valley and on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance. In 1949, he came to WPFB in Middletown and performed with Smokey Ward for about a year before leaving to work with Bill Monroe for two years and finally returning in 1952 to Renfro Valley, where he stayed until his death. He recorded an LP on Cincinnati’s Vetco label and a 45 rpm EP and a single on the Ark label in Cincinnati, as well as singles on Lexington, Kentucky labels Sun-Ray and Rem. He was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

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