Glover, (David) Tony "Harp Dog" 1939-
GLOVER, (David) Tony "Harp Dog" 1939-
PERSONAL: Surname sounds like "lover"; publishes under several variations of name listed above; born October 7, 1939, in Minneapolis, MN; son of Harold E. and Margaret (Hauser) Glover; married Karin (a dancer), April 3, 1961 (divorced, October, 1971). Education: Attended high school in Minneapolis, MN.
ADDRESSES: Office—Box 3689, Loring Station, Minneapolis, MN 55403.
Musician and author; member of trio Koerner, Ray & Glover. "Worked several years as offset pressman in mail advertising firm. Left to record and play gigs with Dave Ray and John Koerner; five albums on Electra label; appearances at Newport and Philadelphia folk festivals, etc. Somewhere near the end of the 60's, spent a year and a half as an all night DJ playing Moondog, Miles Davis, and Sonny Boy Williamson records and answering a lot of bizarre phone calls. Went to New York City on vacation, didn't come back for two years. In New York City, did mostly freelance music writing. Moved back to Minneapolis, tired of guerilla warfare necessary when going to the deli after dark. At present, writing mostly record reviews, working in a funky band called 'Nine Below Zero,' and doing some reunion recording and concerts with Koerner and Ray." Wrote and produced a television documentary on Koerner, Ray & Glover shown on Public Broadcasting System, 1986.
Albums include Blues, Rags and Hollers, 1963; Lots More Blues, Rags and Hollers, 1964; The Folk Box, 1964; Snaker's Here, 1965; Spider Blues, 1965; The Return of Koerner, Ray & Glover, 1965; Good Old Koerner, Ray & Glover, 1972; Some American Folk Songs Like They Used To, 1974; Crossroads: White Blues in the Nineteen-Sixties, 1984; From the West Bank, 1985; Legends in Their Spare Time, 1987; Ashes in My Whiskey, 1990; Troubadours of the Folk Era, 1993; Picture Has Faded, 1993; and One Foot in the Groove, 1996.
AWARDS, HONORS: "Won an overnight traveling case in talent show at a bar once;" has also won numerous musical awards, including "Best Folk Group," Minnesota Music Awards; elected to Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.
(Editor) Ron McElderry, The Little Black Songbook, Little Sandy Review Press, 1960.
(With Ted Sheilds) That Ain't Quite What I Meant, Babe (cartoons), "printed by Glover after hours at shop where he worked," 1963.
Mad Coast 1 (poems), privately printed ("since each page of every copy was created individually, this was produced only in a severely limited edition"), 1964.
(Under name Tony "Little Sun" Glover) Blues Harp: An Instruction Method for Playing the Blues Harmonica, Oak Publications (New York, NY), 1965.
(Under name Tony Glover, with Paul Nelson) The Festival Songbook, Amsco Music Publishing, 1972.
Blues Harp Songbook, Oak Publications (New York, NY), 1975.
Rock Hart, Oak Publications (New York, NY), 1981.
(With Scott Dirks and Ward Gaines) Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story, Routledge (New York, NY), 2002.
Also published Big Joe Blues, a section of an autobiographical novel. Author of Tribute (to Sonny Boy Williamson; radio script), 1965; author of liner notes for "Get Together," by Sonny Terry, 1965, "Country Blues," by John Hammond, 1965, and for "Blues Harp" (to accompany the book). Contributor to Little Sandy Review, Music Journal, Sing Out!, Folk Scene, Region, Twin Citian, Hullabaloo, Eye, Circus, Rock, Crawdaddy, Rolling Stone, and Creem.
SIDELIGHTS: Tony "Harp Dog" Glover once told CA: "My major areas of interest are making music (blues, Indian, and electronic music). In writing about music I only write about what interests me and arouses my enthusiasm—which explains why I've only done one or two negative reviews—and also why, of late, my writing is slacking off some—it's pretty boring out there. Besides, I'd rather write and play music right now than write about it.
"In my writing, I'm interested in finding the spaces that nobody speaks of because they're too personal—but everybody needs to know that others feel as well. In my early life I was greatly influenced by Edgar Allan Poe . . . later I discovered that I was born ninety years (almost to the hour) after his death, and wonder if perhaps I'm not a reincarnation of his spirit—a feeling deepened by a visit to his house in Philadelphia.
"Wrote many gloomy Orson Welles-like vignettes in midnight hours, and wandered in AM alleys looking for something. Was a juvenile delinquent for a few years, ran with a minor gang, but quit because their society and concepts were as stifling as the ones they were rebelling against. At the age of sixteen I succeeded in staying drunk for a month and a half, but I don't have that much time or money nowadays."
"Somewhere along there found blues music of people like Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Little Walter, etc., and got hung in learning how to play it on harp (harmonica). Had an R&B band for half a year. . . . Fell into the 'folk-music' scene." Indeed, the influential folk-blues trio of "Spider" John Koerner, Dave ("Snaker") Ray, and Glover (who billed himself as "Little Sun") played together for some two decades, cutting several albums and influencing such icons as John Lennon and The Doors. When the trio broke up, Glover continued to perform while branching out as an author. Koerner, Ray & Glover reunited several times, most recently for a 1996 recording session that led to the album One Foot in the Groove. Ray died in November, 2002.
As a writer of articles, album notes, and other material, Glover has countless publications to his credit. But his book output has been not been as prodigious; volumes tend to be published ten or twenty years apart. The impetus for his 1965 book, Blues Harp: An Instruction Method for Playing the Blues Harmonica, came from a public relations executive who "kept after me for a year or so, and finally convinced me that if I didn't do it, somebody who knew nothing about it . . . would," as Glover was quoted on the Island Web site. "So I gave it a shot." The musician added that he strove to keep his instructions conversational, unlike "so many of the instruction methods around [that] were just basically boring and pedantic." Blues Harp became the standard-bearer of its topic, and, according to its author, has never been out of print.
In 2002 Glover cowrote a biography—-the first, and only to date—on bluesman Little Walter. Born Marion Walter Jacobs in 1930, Little Walter revolutionized Chicago-style harmonica playing. He worked alongside Muddy Waters, taking the harmonica "to a place of prominence as an expressive, powerful, electrified lead instrument," in the words of Library Journal reviewer Bill Walker. In the pages of Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story, Glover and his fellow musicians make the case that their subject "was to harmonica what Charlie Parker was to jazz saxophone." In a review for Sing Out!, Michael Cala praised the authors' efforts, calling the work an "exceptionally thorough and well-written history" highlighted by a "fine prose style."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Glover, Tony, with Scott Dirks and Ward Gaines, Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story, Routledge (New York, NY), 2002.
The Face of Folk Music, Citadel Press, 1968.
Booklist, September 1, 2002, Mike Tribby, review of Blues with a Feeling, p. 38.
Insider, September, 1971.
Ivory Tower (University of Minnesota), June 1, 1964.
Library Journal, August, 2002, Bill Walker, review of Blues with a Feeling, p. 98.
Little Sandy Review, fall, 1964.
Sarasota Herald Tribune, January 3, 2003, Joel Welin, Tradition of the Blues, p. 3.
Sing Out!, July, 1964; winter, 2003, Michael Cala, review of Blues with a Feeling, p. 123.
Twin Citian, November, 1965.
Island Web site,http://www.island.net/~blues/tglover.htm/ (October 26, 2002), Glen Dundas, "A Conversation with Tony Glover."*