Clayton E Corley, Sr.

Host/Producer of an Internet Program, Writer, Poet

About Me

I was born March 4, 1958 to the late Barbara M. Ayers and the late William M. Corley, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but raised by my Mom and Stepfather James S. Ayers, Sr. I graduated from West Philadelphia High School in the bicentennial year of 1976. I attended classes at the University of Pa., did clinical at the Pennsylvania Hospital School of Respiratory Care and received my Certification as a Respiratory Therapist. I've been working in the community where I was raised at Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia for 36 years and received The Sister Catherine McCauley award in 2003 as Employee of the Year. I also work in the community having served as Judge of Elections in third ward seventeenth division, block captain of my block in West Philadelphia and currently Committeeman of the above ward and division. My love of writing began at the age of 14 and continued though high school where I was a writer for the school newspaper. I was recognized by the Pulitzer Award Committee for my articles about the West Philadelphia High School Speedboys basketball team, who at the time were number one in the nation. With the encouragement of family and friends I co-authored a wonderful book entitled "Universal Moods; Short Stories and Poetry to Stir the Mind, Body and Soul." My love of jazz stems from childhood when I was asked to play the albums belonging to my parents while they entertained guests in the basement of their home. Yes, they ran a speakeasy and I was the "Record Guy." My parent’s collection consisting of artists such as Miles Davis, Errol Garner, Sarah Vaughan, Cannonball Adderley, and Nancy Wilson created the foundation for my broad knowledge of jazz.  I feel that jazz and poetry were made for each other. Both have elements of improvisation and are major ways of negotiating agendas and communicating with one another. They also have vast history especially as it relates to our culture. These two art forms need to be kept alive and passed down to future generations. I was born under the sign of Pisces. As is true to most born under that sign, I am a “Dreamer.” I feel this trait is evident in my writing and has helped in formulating the concept for my radio program “Spotlight On Jazz and Poetry.” I am married to Victoria, and have four children, and one granddaughter.

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2016-04-10

I love jazz because it swings! It also relaxes me and helps me communicate my thoughts on paper since i'm a writer and poet. It’s elements of improvisation is similar. When I hear jazz i'm thinking poetic thoughts and when i'm listening to poetry or reading it, jazz melody, meter and riffs come to mind! I was first exposed to jazz when i was a child listening to my parents play their albums for guests....they ran a speakeasy in our basement and as I grew older i played the music on a stereo record player upstairs for them while they entertained. I read album covers and liner notes all the time. I met Arthur Prysock, Shirley Scott, Sonny Stitt at our house. Whenever Arthur Prysock was performing in the Philadelphia area and my parents walked in and if he happened to see them he would stop the band and break into "I Worry Bout You." The best show I ever attended was Nancy Wilson at the Zellerbach Theater, Annenberg Center on U of P Campus in September 24,1999. (my wedding anniversary) The first jazz record I bought was Horace Silver "Blowin' The Blues Away." My advice to new listeners is to keep an open mind, do not think the music is too intellectual or complicated and be prepared to swing.

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