LLOYD GLENN (By Dave Penny)

Born Lloyd Colquitt Glenn, 21 November 1909, San Antonio, Texas
Died 23 May 1985, Los Angeles, California

A talented pianist and musical arranger, like his friend and neighbour Maxwell Davis, Lloyd Glenn was less renowned for his own fine recordings as for his peerless work on those by other musicians; particularly the Midas touch he contributed to the production and accompaniment of blues guitarists like T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Gene Phillips, Gatemouth Brown and B B King.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, on 21st November 1909, Lloyd Glenn grew up listening to close relatives and family friends playing ragtime, blues and boogie woogie on the family piano. By his early teens he had absorbed a lot of music and playing piano became second nature to him. He spent the late 1920s honing his skills in South Western territory bands, such as Millard McNeal's Melody Boys, Thomas Lee's Royal Aces, and The Deluxe Melody Boys, before joining Terence "Tee" Holder's respected unit, returning to San Antonio when Holder disbanded in 1932.

Between 1932 and 1934, Glenn played with the local band of Boots & His Buddies and enjoyed a brief spell with Nat Towles, before leaving to join Don Albert's Orchestra as pianist/arranger in the summer of 1934. While with Albert, Glenn made his recording debut with the band in November 1936 for Vocalion. Eight numbers were recorded all arranged or co-arranged by him, including the original version of You Don't Love Me which would become famous in the late 1940s with successful recordings by Paul Gayten and Camille Howard.

Family commitments led Lloyd to quit Don Albert's band in 1937 to take up local teaching jobs and he moved to California in 1941, eventually settling in Los Angeles in 1945 where he spent the rest of his life. It wasn't long before Glenn was gigging and recording with the jump bands of Red Mack and Gene Phillips, finding employment as a session musician and arranger, often with fellow Texans like Henry Hayes on Aladdin in 1946, and most famously with T-Bone Walker on Black & White Records in 1947 (They Call It Stormy Monday etc.). A couple of months later he made his own first solo records, as Lloyd Glenn & His Joymakers for Imperial Records with Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces, a group that was already recording for Modern Records under Phillips' name, and his trio was also used to back vocalist Red Miller on the #1 R&B chart smash Bewildered in late 1948.

Lloyd Glenn joined Jack Lauderdale's Swing Time Records in 1949 as A&R man, and was soon cutting his own best-selling records as well as crafting hits for the likes of Lowell Fulson; in 1950, he was responsible for three of Fulson's best-selling records - Everyday I Have the Blues (# 3), Low Society Blues (# 8) and Blue Shadows (# 1) - while his own Old Time Shuffle (# 3) was followed by the chart-topping Chica Boo in 1951. Surprisingly, while Glenn was making these classics of the r&b idiom, he was holding down a regular nightly job as pianist in Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band. Glenn left Ory in 1953, about the same time that he was contracted to Aladdin Records, staying with the company until the end of the decade and re-cutting many of his old hits. In 1960, Lloyd was asked by B B King to produce his My Kind Of Blues LP - which is King's own personal favourite - and he remained working mainly in the studio in the mid to late '60s with old friends like B B King and T-Bone Walke
r for BluesWay. Glenn began touring again in the 1970s, particularly with Gatemouth Brown and Joe Turner, and was soon recording again as featured artist for Black & Blue in France and Stockholm Records in Sweden. He died of a heart attack at the age of 75 on 23rd May 1985 at his home in Los Angeles.

Recommended listening:
Classics 5016 - "Lloyd Glenn 1947-1950" (2002)
Classics 5069 - "Loyd Glenn 1951-1952" (2003) - includes the eight recordings made with Don Albert's Band for Vocalion.
Black & Blue 923 - "The Definitive Black & Blue Sessions" (2002)
Night Train 7007 - "Lowell Fulson - Everyday I Have The Blues" (1995)
Ace CDCHD 881 - "B B King - My Kind Of Blues" (2003)

These pages were originally published as "This Is My Story" in the
Yahoo Group "Shakin' All Over". For comments or information
please contact Dik de Heer at

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