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Paul Clemente - Obituary

Paul Clemente

Obituary written by the family of Paul Clemente:

Paul Clemente, an accomplished artist, guitar teacher and musician who entertained generations of greater Bostonians died in Quincy on February 2, 2007. He was 97.

Born in 1910 in Worcester, MA, to Matteo and Rafaella Clemente, Italian immigrants, he was one of the first white jazz musicians in Worcester. His biography appears on the New England Jazz website. At age 17 he started his own band, “Clem’s Commodores”, and played in Worcester at the Arcadia Ballroom and Danny Duggan’s Ballroom, and in Shrewsbury at the White City Ballroom. He also attended the Worcester Art Museum School. In the early 1930’s he moved to Quincy where he met and married the former Elsie Alden, a direct descendent of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.

Skilled at guitar, bass and banjo, he played with the Hughey Connor band at the old Riverview ballroom in Neponset and with the Jimmy McHale band at the Westminster Roof Hotel and the Brown Derby in Boston. He also played with the Bob Allen big band of New Jersey with whom he toured the South extensively. In the mid-forties, he formed “The Paul Clement Trio”. This group was signed by the famous William Morris booking agency. They played at the Old Town Hall Inn in E. Hartford, CT for six years and then came to Boston where they performed at the Darbury Room, the Show Bar, The 1-2-3 Lounge and the Copley Plaza Hotel. The trio recorded on the Crystaltone record label and had regular live radio appearances on WTIC in Hartford.

In 1955 he opened a small pizza shop in North Quincy called “The Brick Oven" which he operated for four years. He also taught guitar for many years at the Charles Bean Music Studio in Quincy.

In 1986 he played banjo with the Boston Concert Orchestra for a performance of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” in Symphony Hall. In 1988 he was the subject of at least two feature articles (Worcester Telegram and Gazette: "Close Up" by Sibyl Farson; and The Patriot Ledger: "Senior's Corner" by Pauline Pyle).

Paul is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elsie (Alden) of Quincy, a son, Paul, Jr. and his wife Patricia of Milton, MA and three daughters, Carol Dykstra and her husband William of Braintree, MA, Valerie Clemente of Brentwood, TN and Karen Clemente of Hull, MA, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Peter Clemente of Worcester, MA, a sister Mary Consiglio of Shrewsbury, MA and many nieces and nephews. Five sisters predeceased him.

Paul last performed publicly at age 92 in a variety show at 1000 Southern Artery in Quincy. He played his ukulele and sang his favorite song, “Hey has Anybody Seen my Sweet Gypsy Rose”.