Voices In My Head Podcast Episode #287: Guest Francois Clemmons (Officer Clemmons) from Mister Rogers Neighborhood 

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-yn628-9aaa25

Voices In My Head Podcast Episode #287: Guest Francois Clemmons (Officer Clemmons) from Mister Rogers Neighborhood 

 Officer_Clemmons_Pic.jpg 

On this episode of Voices In My Head we welcome Dr. Francois Clemmons.

 

Dr. François Scarborough Clemmons is an Afro-American singer, actor, playwright and university lecturer. He is perhaps best known for his appearances as Officer Clemmons on the PBS television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood from 1968 to 1993.

In 1968, Clemmons won the Metropolitan Opera auditions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He went on to Cleveland, Ohio, where he won a position in the Metropolitan Opera Studio. He sang there professionally for seven seasons, performing over 70 roles with companies including The New York City Opera, Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, and Washington Civic Opera.

Clemmons sang with numerous orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1973, he won a Grammy Award for a recording of Porgy and Bess; he performed the role of “Sportin’ Life” in that musical over 100 times.

For 25 years, Clemmons performed the role of Officer Clemmons, a friendly neighborhood policeman, in the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” on the children’s television show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In the neighborhood itself, Clemmons ran a singing and dance studio located in the building diagonally across from Mr. Rogers’ house. As “Officer Clemmons”, he became one of the first African Americans to have a recurring role on a kids’ TV series. 

Clemmons actively writes across genres for a variety of age groups. Currently, he is writing his autobiography entitled DivaMan: My Life in Song, a children’s story entitled ButterCup and the Majic Cane, and a volume of poetry entitled A Place Of My Own. Some of his published works include a volume of spirituals named Songs for Today and a stage musical called My Name Is Hayes based on the life of Roland Hayes. He also commissioned a choral work composed of spirituals entitled Changed My Name, arranged by Linda Twine.

From 1997 until his retirement in 2013, Clemmons was the Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence and director of the Martin Luther King Spiritual Choir at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. He “played the role of professor, choirmaster, resident vocal soloist, advisor, confidant, and community cheerleader”. He is also well known in the Middlebury community for his superb rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner”, which he sings at the Middlebury College men’s basketball games.

Clemmons lives and works in Middlebury, Vermont, where he is the Emeritus Artist in Residence of Middlebury College. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music.

 

 

 

Image may contain: one or more people

Blessings,

Rick Lee James

www.RickLeeJames.com

 

RickLeeJamesLogo_jpg.jpg

Published by

Rick Lee James

Rick Lee James worship leader, a singer and songwriter, preacher, author, and Podcast host with over 15 years of experience in ministry. As host of the Voices In My Head Podcast Rick has worked with Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves, Paul Baloche, All Sons and Daughters, Michael Card, Brian Zahnd, Tripp York, Brett Mccracken, Ian Morgan Cron, Michael Card, Walter Brueggemann and many more. In 2013 Rick released his first Live album of original songs called, Basement Psalms Live. In 2014 Rick released a book to accompany the album called, Out of the Depths: A Songwriter’s Journey Through the Psalms. The book has since been used as a textbook by National Praise and Worship Institute’s Psalms survey course at Trevecca Nazarene University. Rick also was a contributing writer for the book, Renovating Holiness, edited by Jay Thomas Jay Oord and Joshua Broward. Rick has also been a contributing writer for Worship Leader Magazine and has had a number of songs published by Lifeway Worship. Rick’s new album, ‘Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations’ will release on March 17th, 2016 (St. Patrick’s Day). All songs on the record are being published through Lifeway Worship and are written, co-written, or arranged by Rick.