Louis Clark, musical genius beloved by many for his authentic arrangements and ability to interweave Classical compositions with Rock and Roll, died February 13, at the age of 73.
Raised in Bridgnorth in Shropshire, England, Lou moved to Birmingham after graduation. In 1964, he joined a band called Monopoly where they came up with the idea of crossing genres, bridging classical and rock music by incorporating orchestra pieces. After recording ten singles and two albums, and writing string arrangements for the second album, Lou decided to leave the band and pursue a career as a full-time arranger.
At the age of 24, he enrolled in Leeds Conservatoire (formerly known as the City of Leeds College of Music) where he studied flute, keyboards and composition. After graduation, Lou agreed to write arrangements for his friend Raymond Frogget. While recording at De Lane Lea Studios in London, Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) who was recording at the same studio stopped in to see Lou. This relationship was the game changer where Lou’s masterful arrangements enhanced the Eldorado album on which the ELO sound exploded.
Lou released his first solo album (Perspectiv’) n. in 1979 where he arranged and conducted a full orchestra as well as writing and producing the album. His next project was released in 1981 under the name Hooked on Classics where Lou conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). His relationship with RPO continued with the release of Queen Classic, Abba Classic and the famous Beatles Classic televised in England where Lou was presented to Queen Elizabeth and Sir Paul McCartney who were in attendance. Louis is an honorary life member of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a distinction well earned.
While touring in the United States in the early 1980s with ELO, Lou met the love of his life, Gloria Bentley. After a long distance courtship, they were married in 1986 and made their home in Elyria, Ohio. Lou toured with ELO playing keyboards up until their break-up in 1986. ELO Part II was formed by Co-founder Bev Bevan and Lou continued to record and tour with the band. Most recently, Lou toured with The Orchestra, Former Members of ELO along with his good friend and former ELO bandmate, Mik Kaminski.
Lou’s credits and accomplishments are extraordinary and his musical career spans six decades. He continued to tour with The Orchestra until last year when his health began to fail.
Lou was preceded in death by his father, Francis, his mother, Isabella and sister, Anne. He is survived by his wife Gloria (nee Bentley), his three children, Louis Clark, Jr., Jemma Clark Roberts, and Rachel Clark, two grandchildren Loretta Roberts and John Roberts, his brother Francis “Terry” Clark, and a loving extended family, friends and fans.
Public visitation for family and friends will be held at Hempel Funeral Home on Sunday, February 21, 2021 in the afternoon by reservation at https://signup.com/go/CejzvVn or by phoning the funeral home at 440-988-4451 during business hours of 9-5. Services will be held Monday at the funeral home by reservation at https://signup.com/go/UKjNACA. Rebroadcasting of services will be available at http://www.hempelfuneralhome.com/ . Burial will take place at Ridge Hill Memorial Park, Amherst Township.
Please visit the funeral home's website to share a memory and sign the guest register, www.hempelfuneralhome.com.
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