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James L. Clarke

Organist & Accompanist

United Methodist Churh Emblem

While I’ve made the money to buy my groceries as a lawyer, my real love is playing the piano, the organ, accompanying singers and, years ago, actually doing some singing myself. I started piano lessons in Maysville with Coralie Runyon (now Jones) when I was in second grade. My last piano teacher was Helen Greim. She never told me I played anything well while I was taking lessons from her but later in life let me know I could “have made it” professionally as a concert artist... pretty humbling.

maysville, kentucky, organist, church, church organ, piano, pianist, church pianist

I started organ lessons in the 6th grade, being absolutely enthralled with the instrument.(The church had a Hammond...We hardly ever see them anymore...) I took on the job as organist at Maysville’s Church of the Nativity (Episcopal) in 1957 when I was in the seventh grade (Betty Jane Pitzer was my seventh grade teacher) and have been playing for church services almost continually ever since. In my counting, that amounts to 60 years. It may be time to think of retiring but I’m not ready.

My ultimate name dropper as an organist is that I’ve played the organ at Mass in St Peter’s in Rome.

Mary V and I have been married since January 1, 1967, and have four children and 13 grandchildren, all of whom are wonderful. The Lord has truly blessed my family and me!


Maysville Public Schools- graduated Maysville High School, Class of 1962;

BS from University of Kentucky, 1967

JD from University of Kentucky College of Law, 1969


Where You Are Originally From:

Born at Hayswood Hospital, Maysville, Kentucky, March 10, 1944


Favorite Movie:


The Hunt for Red October”


Favorite Books:

Mysteries, historical fictions about the American Revolution and second World War

Favorite Flavor of Ice Cream:




Favorite Food:


Pasta dishes with Italian Sausage, hot dogs


Most Interesting Place You’ve Visited:




Favorite Church Memory:

Sunday school class for little kids at old Trinity on first floor. The room was the kitchen and the teacher was Elizabeth Keith... probably about 1949-50.

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