Joyce Clark, Bluegrass Volunteer & Sidesaddle Fan At the Core Of The Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society

Joyce Clark

Joyce & Dick Clark

Joyce Clark, a key early volunteer who helped bring bluegrass music to the South Bay and Santa Cruz and brought new supporters to the fledgling band Sidesaddle, died on January 30, 2018. She was 75 years old.

Joyce and her husband Dick Clark were among the founders of the Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society and helped organize concerts, campouts, meetings, and bluegrass bowling fundraisers, and helped host popular social gatherings at the Society camp at bluegrass festivals throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The couple traveled nationally to support Sidesaddle, Northern California bluegrass and the SCBS. They were regular volunteers at the SCBS membership and information booth.

Joyce Clark was at the core of the SCBS, the glue of its fellowship and the heart of its activities. Her warmth, kindness, cheerfulness and general good humor were felt by everyone who knew her. Her smile, good heart, laugh, and gentle wit enlivened every occasion. For many new bluegrass fans of that era, their first and fondest memories of the bluegrass community were of Joyce welcoming them to the music and to the SCBS camp at festivals. She never met a stranger, and was always wickedly funny, warm and understanding. She became everyone’s confidant and showed unconditional love. Her personality influenced the developing cultural of the early bluegrass society and guided those who took charge of the organization long after she moved away.

Joyce & Dick Clark

Dick & Joyce Clark received Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Northern California Bluegrass Awards.

The couple loved the all-women South Bay bluegrass band Sidesaddle and were fixtures at almost all early performances. They were two of the organizers of the Sidesaddle Fan Club, and Joyce was the band’s den mother.

After retirement, “DicknJoyce” moved from their longtime home in Santa Clara to Mountain Ranch, where they have lived for almost two decades. There, they began volunteering at the California Bluegrass Association’s Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley. Joyce will be remembered by VIP visitors to that event from across the country as the smiling lady, embodying hospitality, at the festival’s backstage gate.

She was born Joyce Brown in Riverbank, CA. She is survived by her husband, son Richard and his wife Sophia, and daughter Laura. Her grandchildren are Josh and TC. Her grandchild is Little Josh. Her daughter Candice predeceased her.

– Craig Nelson & Michael Hall (Thanks to Barb Scott, Richard & Sophia Clark)

Dick & Joyce Clark and Judy & Dick Dowell accept their Lifetime Achievement Awards.

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