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The Arts Foundation Of Olde Towne is a neighborhood based, Arts & Humanities incubator that serves to host and produce projects that are about, or initiated by residents from the Near East Area of the City Of Columbus, Ohio.

Vi Clarke


Vi Clarke
Instrument: vocal, drums
Description: Vi Clarke's professional career began at the age of 15. When she was 17, her cousin, Paul Marshall, a piano player who was also leading The Ohio State University Dance Band, heard her singing in the bath tub and asked her to join the band. She really prefers "not to work at it... but if I feel like it, I get up and sing." Her first paying gig was with Don Tate's group. She has also performed with Eddie Beard, Art Baskerville, Ike Issac, Gene Nelson, Don Patterson, Gene Walker, Hank Marr and Ronnie Kirk.

Clarke remembers performing with "Rahsaan Roland" Kirk in a big barn of a club in Cambridge, Ohio. "The place played primarily Polka music... if you can imagine "Rahsaan" playing polka music, and between the polkas we would fit in some Jazz", she laughs.

Back then, I was in the money if I made ten bucks a night. Clarke sang ballads, scat and, as she puts it, "pretty stuff, standards, strictly Jazz; I just never got into rock and roll." Clarke hosted "The Jazz Evening Room" on WVKO for many years. she was the first and, at that time, the only female disk jockey in Columbus. Known as Vivacious Vi, her show featured "straight ahead stuff."

"Charlie Crosby, leader of the house band at the Macon for a number of years, decided I should add to my act by playing a cocktail drum," describes Vi. "Well of course I didn't know anything about keeping time but he said that if I came over to the Macon some afternoon, he would try to teach me a little something about drumming, which he did."


Vi Clarke


From the collection of: Vi Clark

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC20-28

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.






Vi Clarke
Instrument: vocal, drums
Description: P. R. photo
From the collection of: Vi Clarke

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC20-30

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.