Gender of Bernisne G. Clements

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Rodney

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Gender of Bernisne G. Clements

PostSat Feb 03, 2018 5:52 pm

I have a small number of pieces by a composer named Bernisne G. Clements, mostly published in the late 1910s, often through Jacobs Orchestra Monthly.

I've rarely come across the first name "Bernisne," and thought (maybe because it looks like "Bernice") that this could be one of the woman composers active at the time, like Minnie T. Wright or Lily Strickland. The copyright renewal notices I've seen don't give much information, but lead me to believe that it's a real name, not a pseudonym for another composer.

Is there anyone with access to census records who can see if Bernisne identified as female or male? Thanks.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
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"Let the Music do the Talking!"
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Gender of Bernisne G. Clements

PostSat Feb 03, 2018 6:10 pm

Yes, there is such a person. In the 1920 census he is listed as a theater musician, living in Houston.

This appears to be his grave:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/176 ... o-clements" target="_blank" target="_blank

In 1920 and 1930, he is single. His name in 1930 is Bennie, and his occupation is musician, radio service. He has moved to St. Paul, Minnesora.

In 1940 he is Bernie G. Clements, moved back to Houston; is married and has several children. Albert, James, and William. His wife is Elizabeth W. He's still a musician.

Albert's obit gives his, son albert's, name as ALBERT BERNISNE CLEMENTS, SR.

1910: He is living with his parents in Leon county, TX. a musician at an opera house, he is listed as Berenice Clements, male.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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Rodney

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Re: Gender of Bernisne G. Clements

PostSat Feb 03, 2018 7:49 pm

Thanks! That's exactly the sort of thing I wanted to know.

I fell into the same trap as many did with Irenee Berge...
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Gender of Bernisne G. Clements

PostSun Feb 04, 2018 8:04 am

You're welcome.

In a newspaper archive there are lots of "hits" for Bernie Clements and his orchestra in 1940s Dallas. Probably the same person.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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MClements

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Re: Gender of Bernisne G. Clements

PostFri Mar 09, 2018 11:04 am

Bernisne Genaro Clements is my paternal grandfather. He was a self taught musician who had incredible talent.

Do you have any original manuscripts? The family does not own any originals.

Mark P.Clements

Bernie was also his nick name and yes that is the same Bernie.
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Rodney

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Re: Gender of Bernisne G. Clements

PostFri Mar 09, 2018 11:25 am

MClements wrote:Bernisne Genaro Clements is my paternal grandfather. He was a self taught musician who had incredible talent.

Do you have any original manuscripts? The family does not own any originals.

Mark P.Clements

Bernie was also his nick name and yes that is the same Bernie.


Great to hear from you! I've also managed to reach a few other descendants of composers from this era, and it's always nice to have a connection to these forgotten talents.

No, I don't have original manuscripts. I have photocopies of published arrangements from various archives. If you're curious about the music, there are copies (mostly from a magazine for theater orchestras called Jacobs' Orchestra Monthly) at archives such as the University of Colorado and University of North Texas. They may show up on ebay from time to time as well, and you could set an alert for when they appear.

It looks like I have six of his compositions. We have played several as part of our silent film scores, including "Butterflies" and "The Bermuda Blues." The only one we've recorded is the first part of his waltz "The Love Tyrant," from 1920, as part of our score for Douglas Fairbanks' "The Modern Musketeer." Unfortunately, we didn't have time for the whole waltz in that score, so we only recorded the introduction, main theme, and B section; omitting the trio and coda. It's a pretty, light waltz, and I have no idea where that foreboding title comes from! Let me know if you'd like an mp3 of it.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"

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