Bebop trumpeter Clark Terry broke the colour bar at NBC

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February 24, 2015 by dontbringlulubook

Clark Terry, who has died aged 94 performed in the band for the legendary American Tonight show for ten years.

Terry was the first African American to become a regular in a combo on a major US television network. He said later:

‘We had to be models, because I knew we were in a test… We couldn’t have a speck on our trousers. We couldn’t have a wrinkle in the clothes. We couldn’t have a dirty shirt.’

Clark Terry white shirt

Terry played with all the jazz greats including Basie and Ellington and influenced Charles Mingus.

He pioneered the flugelhorn in jazz. He was born in St Louis.

Clark Terry composed more than two hundred jazz songs and performed for seven U.S. Presidents.

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