HENRY GLOVER

Born Henry Bernard Glover, 21 May 1921, Hot Springs, Arkansas Died 7 April 1991, St. Albans, New York

Producer / arranger / songwriter / publisher / talent scout / trumpet
player / engineer / studio constructor / label owner.

Henry Glover is one of the great unknown behind-the-scenes men in the music business whose legacy, begun in the 1940s, continues to this day. Glover graduated from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College in Huntsville in 1943 and went on to Wayne University in Detroit for graduate work. He earned a degree as a bandmaster, later writing charts and playing first trumpet for Buddy Johnson, Willie Bryant, Tiny Bradshaw and Lucky Millinder.

In 1946 Syd Nathan of King Records in Cincinnati offered him a job as an A&R man. Glover would become a cornerstone of the King label, rising to the rank of vice-president, one of the first Afro-Americans to have an executive position with a record company in the US. He worked with Nathan on many projects, like putting together a pressing, printing, studio and distribution complex, unique for an independent record company. Glover enjoyed his first success as a producer with Bull Moose Jackson (initially on the Queen subsidiary, which was discontinued in 1947). Not only did he produce Bull Moose's recording sessions, but he also (co-)wrote many of Jackson's early hits, such as "I Love You, Yes I Do" (# 1 R&B, 1947) , "All My Love Belongs To You", "I Want A Bow Legged Woman" and "I Can't Go On Without You" (another # 1, 1948).

It was not long before Syd Nathan asked Glover to work in the studio with King's country artists like Grandpa Jones, Cowboy Copas, Moon Mullican and the Delmore Brothers. Radio stations KTHS in Hot Springs and KLRA in Little Rock had exposed young Henry to country music and influenced an eclectic taste that transferred to the variety of artists he would produce. Glover's greatest hits as a country producer (both # 1) were "Blues Stay Away>From Me" by the Delmore Brothers (1949, which he also arranged and co- wrote) and "I'll Sail My Ship Alone" by Moon Mullican (1950, which Glover co-wrote under the pseudonym Henry Bernard). King was probably the first company to cover R&B hits with country singers, but had even more success doing the reverse - covering C&W hits with R&B singers. There were no racial boundary lines at King. Music was music and a good song was a good song. Glover's thorough knowledge of music was very helpful in the studio, but it was his demeanour as much as anything that made him invaluable during the sessions. Nathan's gruff, abrasive manner alienated many musicians in the high-pressure studio environment, but Glover's style was just the opposite.

In the 1950s Henry Glover worked with artists such as Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, Wynonie Harris, Bill Doggett, Sonny Thompson, Lula Reed, Otis Williams and the Charms, Big John Greer, Annisteen Allen, James Brown and Little Willie John, often writing or co-writing their material. There are no less than 453 Henry Glover compositions in the BMI database. A small selection : "Drown In My Own Tears", "I'm Waiting Just For You", "Annie Had A Baby", "Rock Love", "Ram-Bunk-Shush", "Teardrops On Your Letter", "Sticks And Stones" and "Seven Nights To Rock". His later King productions include "Honky Tonk" by Bill Doggett (# 1 R&B, #2 pop, 1956), "Fever" by Little Willie John (1956) and the original version of "The Twist" by Hank Ballard (1958).

In time, the business relationship between Syd Nathan and Glover became strained. Once the payola inquisition had begun, Nathan sacrificed Glover to save his own skin. Thus ended Glover's 13-year affiliation with King in 1959. He immediately started his own Glover label in association with Old Town Records, owned by Hy Weiss. The second Glover single, "We Told You Not To Marry" by Titus Turner (an answer to Llloyd Price's "I'm Gonna Get Married"), was the only chart entry for the label, peaking at # 83 on the Billboard Hot 100. For the follow-up, Glover wrote "Let the Little Girl Dance", but Turner failed to get an acceptable take, after which Old Town artist Billy Bland, who happened to be in the studio, recorded the song in two takes. Titus Turner was dismissed from the session, only to see his grief compounded when the Billy Bland record (on Old Town) went to # 7 pop in the spring of 1960 and # 15 in the UK (London HL 9096). Glover spent the 1961-66 period at Roulette Records. There he produced number one pop hits with "Peppermint Twist, Pt 1" by Joey Dee (early 1962, co-written by Dee and Glover), "Easier Said Than Done" by The Essex (1963) and "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells (1966), while his composition "California Sun" (originally recorded by Joe Jones for Roulette) was a # 5 hit for the Rivieras in 1964. Glover returned to King Records for a brief period in the late 1960s, but after about 1971, he primarily concentrated on production. Financially comfortable from his lucrative publishing copyrights, he had the luxury of producing only those acts that really excited him. His production credits from the 70s include "The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album", which won Waters his first Grammy Award in 1975 and solo albums by Levon Helm and Paul Butterfield. A heart attack ended the fruitful life of Henry Glover at the age of sixty-nine on April 7, 1991.

More info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Glover
(But Glover has NOT been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.)

Acknowledgements :
- Jon Hartley Fox, King of the Queen City : The Story of King Records (University of Illinois Press, 2009), page 26-31.
- John Broven, Record Makers and Breakers (also University of Illinois Press, 2009), page 136-139 and 225.
- Steve Huey, All Music Guide entry for Henry Glover.

Some Glover compositions on YouTube:
-I Love You, Yes I Do (Bull Moose Jackson with Lucky Millinder) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwrK5P-3qlg
- I'll Sail My Ship Alone (Moon Mullican, live) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9egdurd6Ik
- Annie Had A Baby (Hank Ballard) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqcOsy2xgvk
- Drown In My Own Tears (Ray Charles) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LATj91RbbIU
- Let the Little Girl Dance (Billy Bland) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCwjEm8HHlY
- Ram-Bunk-Shush (The Ventures, stereo) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW1x-ra0aZk
- The Peppermint Twist (Joey Dee and the Starliters) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WIvZu4dPQQ

Dik

 
These pages were saved from "This Is My Story" for reference usage only. Please note that these pages were not originally published or written by BlackCat Rockabilly Europe. For comments or information please contact Dik de Heer at dik.de.heer@ziggo.nl

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