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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > R.I.P tony glover
R.I.P tony glover
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3379 posts
May 30, 2019
6:46 AM
this man did very first instructional book on blues harp and followed with blues harp songbook......although a book can only help so much his books certainly were very helpful sending me down the right path
ted burke
765 posts
May 30, 2019
11:02 AM
His book "Blues Harp" was a boon back in the sixties when there was no youtube, devices, videos. Picked up a lot of basic tips that still serve me well. Rest in peace, Tony
351 posts
May 30, 2019
11:43 AM
The Koerner, Ray, Glover version of Honey Bee (loosely based on Muddy's) is one I still play when playing solo: "I hear a funny buzzin' baby."

Last Edited by TetonJohn on May 30, 2019 11:46 AM
3380 posts
May 30, 2019
1:46 PM
@ted........bought his book in late 70s along with my first marine band...…..very helpful
430 posts
May 30, 2019
3:20 PM
In case anyone missed the date, Tony Glover died on May 29, 2019 at the age of 79. He died of natural causes, not sure what that means, but I hope it describes me when I go.

Like so many of us old timers, my first instructional book on how to play blues harmonica was his-- Blues Harp, by Tony Glover, Oak Publications. I read it cover to cover, many times, in 1973.


Thanks to Tony, I called our instrument "harp" for years, before going back to "harmonica".

His book inspired more than instructed. My real learning came when, at about the same time, I memorized Slim Harpo's solo in "The Music's Hot" from his Excello album "Slim Harpo Knew the Blues" (1971).

Play-Rewind-Play-Rewind-- remember that?

When I learned I could do this (memorize and play) I took on my next song-- "Juke" by some harmonica player whose name I can't remember. Juke is still in my repertoire, but "The Music's Hot" is not. I don't sing, and I've not been in a band that does the song, so I've let it go.

To any budding blues harp players reading this-- Have a listen to "The Music's Hot". It's simple enough that it might get you started on the right track, as it did for me.


wolf kristiansen
5990 posts
May 30, 2019
3:35 PM
He made a pretty important book. I dunno that I learned much actual practical harp from it, but some, and it certainly helped get me intrigued and interested in the whole deal. That Sonny Terry rhythm he taught never really worked for me, though Adam Gussow shone some light on it a while back and now I get it, but at the time I was doing it in half time and was like what are you on about.
My friend who put me onto Harmonica in the first place, many years before, didn’t get it either, but he thought he did. He said “think like It’s All Over Now”.
I didn’t get sonny terry but I did get a version of it’s all over now that I busked with for a while.
The one thing that really stayed with me from that book is Sloppy Drunk. Even though he taught it on the wrong harp, in the wrong position (save me!), I still managed to pick up the idea and it’s still in my repertoire although I’ve done a lot of work on it since of course.
I expect if I’d had the record which I believe was originally part of the book I might have taken more from it. Also, the recordings he referenced in the book were probably great in the era it was first published but by the time it was dropped in my porch here in the deep southern backwater of Australia it was the 90s and those recordings were all mixed up and hard to find..to far from The 60s and before the Internet.
I got his songbook too, but it’s just for curiosity sake.

Anyway, he should be a household name among harp players, and I’ll raise a glass to his memory, every time I play Sloppy Drunk
2105 posts
May 30, 2019
4:06 PM
Coincidentally, I was talking about him with my harp teacher (Jim Conway, for you Aussies) yesterday before this news hit. He said the only instructional material when he was starting out was Tony Glover's book. The advice on the blue third was to "play it a bit flat." Jim is always after me to use and pitch the blue third better. He also said that Bob Dylan had ripped off Tony Glover's record collection.
BronzeWailer's YouTube
2934 posts
May 30, 2019
5:39 PM
A friend bought me that book in the early 70's. Perhaps trying to tell me something? I've always appreciated the gesture but I was not very capable of learning by studying the printed word. I could see what Glover was getting at with the tab thing but I could not make myself adopt the idea. I'm glad he wrote the book and it was a validation of sorts that people were actually learning to play the damn things, the way I wanted to play. It would be many years after I got that book that things actually began to fall into place for me.
Music and travel destroy prejudice.



406 posts
May 30, 2019
9:19 PM
His was the first blues harmonica instruction book to be written in a laid back, hipster style that struck a chord with young people back in the 1960s. Tony Glover's Blues Harp is not the best harmonica book I have as far as instruction goes but it's the most interesting and entertaining.
1340 posts
May 31, 2019
9:40 AM

That was a book that I hauled with me offshore and around the world for a long time.

Rest in Peace, Mr Glover

Underwater Janitor, Patriot
MBH poseur since 11Nov2008
The Iceman
3865 posts
May 31, 2019
10:09 AM
wolfkristiansen sez: "Play-Rewind-Play-Rewind-- remember that?"

gee, you youngster you.

Mine was "play - pick up needle - place down where you think the start is - play - realize you missed the mark and try again - and repeat!"
The Iceman
3382 posts
May 31, 2019
2:24 PM
@iceman..…..that's the way duane allman learned blues licks......he was barefoot and used his big toe to stop the LP...….probably scratched those 33s up......badly.....but the rest is history......duane practiced morning,noon and night...….and dickey betts said......he played harmonica licks!!!
ted burke
766 posts
Jun 01, 2019
12:28 AM
@groyster. i had to replace my copy twice through the years because they were never returned when I loaned them to friends. it was that kind of book, just about the only go-to text specifically about learning to play the BLUES harp. this was the closest i ever really came to receiving instruction; this book was very helpful in helping me learn the fundementals .

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