Henry Glover

Henry Bernard Glover (May 21, 1921 – April 7, 1991)[1] was an American songwriter, arranger, record producer and trumpet player. In the music industry of the time, Glover was one of the most successful and influential black executives. He gained eminence in the late 1940s, primarily working for the independent (and white-owned) King label. His duties included operating as a producer, arranger, songwriter (occasionally utilizing the alias of Henry Bernard), engineer, trumpet player, talent scout, A&R man, studio constructor, while later in his career he became an owner of his own label. Glover worked with country, blues, R&B, pop, rock, and jazz musicians, and he helped King Records to become one of the largest independent labels of its time.[2] Thanks to the efforts of family, friends and fans, Glover's hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas celebrated the 100th anniversary of his birth by inducting him into the downtown "Walk of Fame," the Mayor's "Proclamation," "Key to the City," and named a parklet "Henry Glover Way," along Black Broadway after him. In 2018, Glover was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the King Records 75th Anniversary. In 2013, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.[3]

Henry Glover
Photograph of Henry Glover.jpg
Background information
Birth nameHenry Bernard Glover
BornMay 21, 1921
Hot Springs, Arkansas, United States
DiedApril 7, 1991(1991-04-07) (aged 69)
St. Albans, New York, United States
Occupation(s)Songwriter, arranger, record producer, trumpeter
Years activeLate 1940s–1991


Glover was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As a youngster, he listened to various genres of music on local radio, and learned to play the trumpet. Following high school and college, he joined Buddy Johnson's big band in 1944, and Lucky Millinder's orchestra the following year. In the latter capacity Glover met Syd Nathan, who hired Glover as an A&R man at King Records. As well as A&R duties, Glover helped to construct King's first recording studio.[2]

He went on to produce sessions for the label's established roster of country musicians, including The Delmore Brothers, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, Moon Mullican, Grandpa Jones, and The York Brothers. Glover co-wrote "Blues Stay Away from Me" with the Delmore Brothers. Glover's work with Bull Moose Jackson's on his 1945 cover of Joe Liggins' "The Honeydripper" followed, opening up success with a black audience. Further releases produced by Glover appeared in the next couple of years on King's subsidiary label, Queen Records.[2]

In 1947, Queen merged with King Records, heralding further racial integration. Glover's understanding of jump blues and rhythm and blues led to him signing Lucky Millinder plus Tiny Bradshaw, and he went on to produce both Bill Doggett and Wynonie Harris. Glover later produced or wrote music for Hank Ballard & the Midnighters ("Teardrops on Your Letter"), Little Willie John ("Fever"), James Brown, and The Swallows. Glover's own song "Drown in My Own Tears", originally recorded by Lula Reed, was later successfully covered by Ray Charles.[2]

Glover split with King Records in 1958, and joined the Roulette label. He subsequently worked with Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Sonny Stitt and Ronnie Hawkins. Glover also encouraged the latter's backing band, the Hawks, with their own ambitions. Glover later organised the release of an early single of theirs, when they were billed as The Canadian Squires, prior to their becoming known as The Band.[2]

In 1960, Billy Bland recorded his version of "Let the Little Girl Dance" with Glover, and it was released as a single.[2] It was a hit in the US, peaking at #11 on the Black Singles chart and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

In early April 1961, Roulette Records president Morris Levy reactivated New York-based American record label Gee Records as a division of Roulette Records and appointed Glover artist and repertoire chief of Gee Records.[5] Glover's first release was "Heart and Soul,"[5] a 1961 rhythm and blues rearrangement of the 1938 romantic-pop standard of the same name. "Heart and Soul" (1961) reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 popular chart in July of that year and appeared in the 1973 American comedy-drama film, American Graffiti.[6][7] Glover had further success in 1961 in co-writing Joey Dee & the Starliters' number one "Peppermint Twist"; and two years later, The Rivieras recorded Glover's song "California Sun" resulting in a Top 5 hit. Glover worked with Louisiana Red during the early 1960s, and also created for a short period his own record label. On it Glover recorded both Larry Dale and Titus Turner.[2] Glover also produced The Essex in 1963 and 1964.[1]

Glover later returned to King Records and briefly acted as label head until it was bought by Starday.[2]

In 1975, Levon Helm and Glover co-founded a new label, RCO Productions, which released two of Helm's solo projects. The same year Glover produced The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album, which won a Grammy, and the following year Paul Butterfield's, Put It in Your Ear.[2] Also in 1976 Glover partly arranged with Garth Hudson, Howard Johnson, Tom Malone, John Simon and Allen Toussaint the horn section on The Band's concert, The Last Waltz, and thus subsequent album, The Last Waltz.

In 1986 Glover was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.


He died of a heart attack in April 1991, in St. Albans, New York, at the age of 69.[8] He was survived by his wife, Doris, and a son, Ware and two daughters, Sherry and Leslie.[9]

Songwriting creditsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Henry Glover". IMDb. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Biography by Steve Huey". AllMusic. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  3. ^ "2013 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees Announced". Blues.org. Archived from the original on October 26, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Richie Unterberger (April 5, 1932). "Billy Bland | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Glover Named A.&R. Chief for Gee Label", Billboard Music Week, vol. 73, no. 15, p. 3, April 17, 1961, ISSN 0006-2510, retrieved January 30, 2013
  6. ^ "The Nation's Top Tunes Honor Roll of Hits for the Week Ending July 9, 1961", Billboard Music Week, vol. 73, no. 26, p. 18, July 3, 1961, ISSN 0006-2510, retrieved January 30, 2013
  7. ^ Shea, Tom (March 25, 2004), "Duo wants folks in WMass to bop to doo wop", The Republican, sec. News, p. B1
  8. ^ Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1990 - 1991". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "Henry Glover, 69, Recording Official". The New York Times. April 13, 1991. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  10. ^ "The Early King Sessions: Little Willie John: Music". Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  11. ^ "Love, Life And Money: Johnny Winter: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "Love, Life and Money – Marianne Faithfull : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. August 22, 1995. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  13. ^ "Henry Glover | Songs". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2014.

External linksEdit