“Banker to the Stars” Dies

Clarence Reynolds, Jr.

Clarence Reynolds Jr., known as “the banker to the stars,” died Tuesday, September 7, at age 82. Reynolds was a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Banking of the South, where he was class president.

Reynolds began working at Commerce Union Bank in 1946 and remained there for the next 41 years. 

The country music business community began to emerge in Nashville in the 1950s. Initially, the blue-blooded local banking community treated the young industry with disdain. Most refused to extend loans to music people. Mr. Reynolds was a country music fan. He became one of the first Nashville bankers to embrace and support the genre’s stars and businesses, hence his nickname.

Early clients included future Hall of Famers Hank Williams, George Morgan and Red Foley. In 1985, he was the subject of a star-studded benefit “roast.” Lorrie Morgan, Johnny Russell, Barbara Mandrell, Margo Smith, Jim Ed Brown, Leroy Van Dyke, Vic Willis, Frances Preston, Archie Campbell and Harold Bradley were among his fans that night. Mr. Reynolds retired from Commerce Union in 1987.

Clarence Reynolds Jr. is survived by his three children, Emily Josephine Reynolds, Ellen Clarissa Reynolds and Clarence E. “Ernie” Reynolds III, all of Nashville. Funeral services will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 11. Honorary pallbearers will include Tandy Rice, the Mandrell family, Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown, Bill Frist, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker and Fate Thomas. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Nashville Humane Association, 213 Oceola Avenue, Nashville TN 37209.


Powered by Facebook Comments

Follow MusicRow on Twitter

Category: Featured, Financial/Legal

About the Author

Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

View Author Profile