All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Mahlon Clark

Mahlon Clark Mahlon Clark

Mahlon Clark clarinetist performed on the soundtracks of numerous Hollywood movies and recorded with artists as varied as Lawrence Welk and Madonna. Clark played the well-known clarinet solo of Henry Mancini's “Baby Elephant Walk,” featured on the soundtrack of the Oscar-nominated movie Hatari! (1962), starring John Wayne. The song was a hit for Henry Mancini's orchestra, which recorded the soundtrack. When Lawrence Welk later recorded it, he also used Clark. While a member of Welk's orchestra (1962-68), Clark married Kathy Lennon, one of the four singing Lennon Sisters on the Welk TV show.

Active studio musician whose credits include Madonna, Elvis Presley, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

At Capitol Records, Clark developed a friendship with Nelson Riddle, arranger, composer and conductor for Frank Sinatra. Clark, who also played alto saxophone, performed on many Sinatra albums, including “In the Wee Small Hours.” The days with Capitol Records and Nelson Riddle were very special for Clark. Mahlon said “Frank knew what he wanted. He always gave the band lots of credit, which is why the musicians loved working for him.”

Born in Portsmouth, Va., Clark performed in vaudeville with his sister Jane when they were children. When he was 16, Clark landed a professional job as a big band musician with the Dean Hudson Band. That gig was followed by stints with the Will Bradley Band and the Ray McKinley Band.

Read more



Album In The Wee Small Hours by Mahlon Clark

In The Wee Small Hours

Capitol Records




Jim Hall Jim Hall
Mike DiRubbo Mike DiRubbo
saxophone, alto
Amy Cervini Amy Cervini
voice / vocals
Paul Nash Paul Nash
Jim Pugh Jim Pugh
James Hurt James Hurt

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.