Clarence Kelly was born on Spaw’s Creek near West Liberty, Kentucky, the son of a highly regarded old time fiddler named Santford “Fiddlin’ Sam” Kelly, who showed a young Ricky Skaggs some of his fiddle licks. When Clarence was seventeen, his father died and he set out on his own, ending up in Fairborn, where he became a roofer and eventually a roofing contractor. Shortly after arriving in Fairborn, Clarence became the leader and lead vocalist of the Jewell Mountain Grass. Clarence wrote and recorded a song entitled “Mountain Laurel” a favorite around Dayton for many years. With a uniquely soulful voice, he has been the lead vocalist for the Bluegrass Legends and eventually for his own group, Nu-Cut Road. He has also developed into an excellent songwriter, drawing upon his boyhood experiences in Kentucky to write songs like “No Coal In Harlan,” which details the hard life of the coal miner. He has appeared on the Cumberland Highlanders Show on RFD TV and has issued CDs titled The Mountains Are Calling, No Coal In Harlan, and A Trip Back In Time.

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