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Remembering Lonnie Glosson (1908-2001)

GUEST,Arkie 18 Jan 01 - 12:40 AM
Dale Rose 18 Jan 01 - 01:57 AM
GUEST,Arkie 18 Jan 01 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,John Glosson 17 Apr 09 - 05:49 PM
Dan Schatz 17 Apr 09 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,Arkie 17 Apr 09 - 10:33 PM
Stringsinger 18 Apr 09 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Carolyn (Durham) Gardner - Friends 13 May 09 - 05:34 PM
Joe Offer 13 May 09 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Amanda 08 Apr 10 - 01:56 AM
Arkie 08 Apr 10 - 12:43 PM
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Subject: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 12:40 AM


Harmonica legend, Lonnie Glosson, has been playing before audiences for 78 years. His radio performances began in 1924, when radio was in its infancy, and for a ten year period between 1947 and 1957 he teamed with Wayne Rainey of Concord, AR for one of the most popular shows in the history of radio. Glosson and Rainey were heard on a syndicated program broadcast to over 200 stations nightly. During that time, they were so busy with radio that they did not have time to do personal appearances. They were pioneers in marketing, selling harmonicas and harmonica courses through their radio broadcasts. Lonnie also performed on many of the popular radio barndance shows including the Grand Ole Opry, the National Barndance, the Prince Albert show with Red Foley, and was a Master of Ceremonies on the Renfro Valley Barn Dance in Kentucky. When performing at WLS, in Chicago, he toured with Gene Autry on occasion and was invited by Autry to go with him to California when an opportunity came to star in the movies. Lonnie preferred to keep his independence and stay with what he knew best.

Two of Lonnie's songs, "Matthew 24" and "Gospel Snakes" have become gospel classics and are still being performed and recorded. In 1950, he co-wrote and recorded the hit "Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me" with his partner Wayne Raney. He is best known, however, for the novelty harmonica numbers which he popularized such as "I Want My Momma", "The Fox Chase", and the train imitations. He is known all over the world for his "talking" harmonica.

In later years, Lonnie worked on occasion with his brother, Buck, who was also a very capable harp player. Buck had fronted his own band and had also worked with Lonnie and a sister. When Buck died a few years back, Lonnie kept going. Now at 92, Lonnie still performs. He no longer plays the guitar on stage, but his singing voice is still strong, and his harmonica playing seems as good as ever. He lives in Searcy, Arkansas not many miles from his hometown of Judsonia. He has had some health problems of late and was recently hospitalized with heart failure.

Here's to a true country music pioneer and legend, Lonnie Glosson. You can visit Lonnie's website at

Learn more about Lonnie and find tapes and videos at 1970 prices.


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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: Dale Rose
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 01:57 AM

I can second that, though I was afraid he had left us when I saw your thread title, Arkie!

When I was a kid, I used to listen nearly every night to WCKY, XERF, etc. and long after I should have been asleep, Lonnie and Wayne would come on with their show, playing and singing and SELLING THOSE FABULOUS WILLIAM KRATT HARMONICAS! Now you had to know that they were selling so fast that they were just about to run out and if you didn't get your order in the mail bright and early the next day, well, you just might be disappointed. Of course, I stood that just about as long as I could before saving up my allowance and sending for one. I only learned to play one song to my satisfaction, Good King Wenceslas, but I sure had a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately, multiple moves by my parents after I went off to college permanently misplaced my beloved WILLIAM KRATT, but I still have fond memories of it and the instruction books which came with it. Such items command pretty good prices on eBay, by the way ~~ though I managed to sneak off with a nice inexpensive piece of sheet music for Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me a couple of months ago.

Many years later, early 80s, I think, I was fortunate to meet both Lonnie and Wayne when they were up in St. Louis for a festival. That was among the last performances for Wayne Raney, I believe. And of course, I have seen Lonnie several times since moving to Arkansas. You are right about the prices. A couple of years ago I saw him at what we love to call the Dam Site ~~ the William Garner Visitor Center at the Greers Ferry Lake Dam. He entertained us with all his hits, including one twice to satisfy a request from the audience, and kept lowering the prices on his tapes until he was nearly giving them to us. I bought only one, but should have gotten more.

Precious Memories, indeed.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 11:53 PM

Dale, I too, had one of those harmonicas and song books. Don't have the harmonica anymore, but do still have the song book. Should have had Lonnie autograph it when I had the chance.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: GUEST,John Glosson
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 05:49 PM

Just chiming in after 8 years to make sure we all remember him. A great man and great song writer. RIP Uncle Lonnie.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 09:09 PM

I have a recording of him doing "I Want My Mama" at the Kerville Folk Festival. Brilliant!


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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 10:33 PM

When I was a teenager in Virginia, my friends and I would drive around on Saturday night and listen to Lonnie and Wayne on WCKY. In later years I was able to bring Lonnie to the Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas quite a few times and always enjoyed his work. He was also a fine, generous, and gracious person. His harmonica playing influenced a lot of country boys and girls. A wonderful man.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:22 PM

As a kid in Santa Barbara, I often heard his radio show and sent off for his little instruction booklet. One section showed how you could play the harmonica while dancing with your girl friend. You had a rubber hose tubing that you held in your mouth while the other end was
engaged with the harmonica holes at arms length behind your partner. You supplied your
own music for the dance. I often wondered if Lonnie Glosson really tried this.

I wish I still had that booklet.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson
From: GUEST,Carolyn (Durham) Gardner - Friends
Date: 13 May 09 - 05:34 PM

I have always told everyone I know that Lonnie was the greatest harmonica player I knew. As a teen growing up in Stockton, CA, my mom & dad were friends with Lonnie and his family. We would look forward to every summer when they would come out to CA and Oregon. We kids were the same ages as his kids and got to know George, Sally, Mary & very well. We loved to sit around and listen to Lonnie play his harmonica, especially my youngest brother, Danny. I hope all is well with his family and would love to hear from his kids and catch up.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson (1908-2001)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 May 09 - 06:36 PM

Here's an obituary that tells his story quite well.

Obituary: Lonnie Glosson
The Independent, (London), Mar 13, 2001   by Paul Wadey

LONNIE GLOSSON was sometimes billed as "The Best Harmonica Player in the World". Whilst many would disagree with this judgement, he undoubtedly had an influence on the growth in popularity of his instrument and ranks alongside DeFord Bailey and Wayne Raney as one of the finest hillbilly harmonica wizards.

While he served as a role model to a younger generation of country "harp" players, his admirers also included the country star Charley Pride and the blues musician "Dr" Isaiah Ross. Ross later enthused about Glosson's willingness to create new tunings in his harmonicas by dismantling them and altering the keys.

Lonnie Glosson bought his first harmonica as a nine-year-old and was taught to play by his mother. He left home, in Judsonia, Arkansas, at 16, for St Louis where he combined work in construction with regular appearances on the local radio station, KMOX. In the years that followed he hoboed around the States, performing wherever he could, before finding himself in Chicago and appearing on the famed WLS National Barn Dance radio show.

He used his exposure as an opportunity to sell both harmonicas and instruction manuals to his growing number of fans, a commercial success story that extended into the age of the internet. At the time of his death, his website was offering not only tapes and teach- yourself booklets but also the smallest playable harmonicas in the world.

Following his success at WLS, he continued to live an itinerant existence and over the next few years worked as a featured performer on both the Renfro Valley Barn Dance in eastern Kentucky and on Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry. Whilst at WHAS radio, Louisville he met the rising star Molly O'Day and taught her one of his most famous numbers, "Matthew Twenty-four". He also, during the late Thirties, struck up a friendship with Wayne Raney; the pair of them went on to form an unusual twin harmonica act based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Glosson's association with his fellow virtuoso would eventually yield successes like Raney's 1949 crossover hit "Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me" and gave impetus to his own recording career. In that same year he enjoyed a minor hit with the self-penned "Lost John" and followed it with a clutch of highly regarded discs including "I've Got the Jitters Over You", "Del Rio Blues" and, for Acme Records, a popular recitation, "The Old Dutchman's Prayer".

Although his recording career subsequently faltered, he went on to become a fixture at Old Time Music festivals and regularly performed in schools, combining lively musicianship with serious talks on drug and alcohol abuse. He continued to perform publicly until the autumn of last year.

Lonnie Glosson, harmonica player: born Judsonia, Arkansas 14 February 1908; married (three sons, three daughters); died Searcy, Arkansas 2 March 2001.

Copyright 2001 Independent Newspapers UK Limited
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company.

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson (1908-2001)
From: GUEST,Amanda
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 01:56 AM

Several years ago i poke with Mr. Glossan about a man he had played music with. I have tried to locate of relative of this man for year. His name was Sam Jones and Mr. Glossin informed me that he had passed away many years ago. Mr. Glossin told me that Sam Jones had played on a radio show in Memphis called the Garrett Snuff show. He also said that he had a photo of himself and Sam Jones. I was unable to meet with Mr. Glossin and get this photo and more information before his passing. Can anyone help me in this search?

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Subject: RE: Remembering Lonnie Glosson (1908-2001)
From: Arkie
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 12:43 PM

Amanda you might try contacting David Evans of the Last Chance Jug Band. Dave knows as much as anyone about Memphis music. Here is a link. There is a link there to make contact.

David Evans

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