A Talented Star Is Born - Glorious Gloria Parker
By the age of three and a half, Glorious Gloria Parker was on her way to stardom. She played her personalized quarter-size violin and charmed everyone who heard her. By age five, she played in concert at the Academy of Music, and by the time she was 14, she conducted her own all-girl orchestra and was featured on stage with the marimba and musical glasses. A consumate entertainer and musician, Gloria fronted several bands including the all-girl band, "Gloria Parker and the Coquettes". Joe Glaser managed Gloria Parker, Louie Armstrong, Less Brown, Billy Holiday, Andy Kirk, Teddy Powell and Jan Savitt to name a few,"Every Note A Solid One". Gloria, who claims she knew the strings of the violin before her ABC's, credits her musical talents to her mother, Rita Rose. "While my mother was pregnant with me, she would play the violin for me", explained Gloria. "She felt that all that music would be absorbed by me."
Her grandfather taught her to play the musical glasses, and she still plays the set she inherited from him. This lead to a role in Woody Allen's "Broadway Danny Rose" where she was referred to as "the Yasha Haifitz of the musical glasses." She has since performed with the glasses on stage and television. Gloria has mastered playing over eight instruments, her favorite being the marimba.
Gloria has composed hundreds of original musical scores, "Tonight Be Tender To Me" recorded by Una Mae Carlisle, "In Santiago By The Sea" recorded by Vincent Lopez, Daddy From Georgia Way" recorded by Bob Chester & His Orchestra and "Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus" The Super Song recorded on Columbia Records by Alan Holmes & His Orchestra (used in the Walt Disney Movie, Mary Poppins).
She conducted for Judy Garland, Betty Hutton, June Preisser and Stepin Fetchit. Gloria has played with the Hartford Symphony, appeared with Lionel Hampton, who has recorded a variety of her songs, Joe Franklin, Alan Combs, The Late Night Show with David Letterman, The Ed Sullivan Show, Regis Philbin, and many more.
Her lecture presentations continue to win the hearts of many as she is dubbed the "Princess of the Marimba". As Americas beloved "Cover Girl" and "Broadway's Most Beautiful Band Leader" Gloria has played in the finest hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, St. Regis, Edison, Taft, Lincoln, and the Astor. Let's not forget the Arcadia Ballroom, Roxy Theatre and Copacabana! For eight years, "Gloria Parker, Princess of the Marimba" had her own network show on ABC and Metromedia. The Gloria Parker Show was heard nationwide. Today Gloria plays jazz, disco, reggae, Latin and every type of dance music with her exciting musical group, The Riverboat Ramblers.
Additional songs written by Gloria Parker (Pen Names: Annabel Day, Gale Porter, Gigi Perrell, Glory Kennedy, Kathleen Shea, Lois Daniels, Patricia Lawson, Patricia Smith & Rita Rose)
- America is so Beautiful
- Broadway and Main*
- Cannonball Twist*
- Daddy From Georgia Way
- Dixieland Rhumba
- Four Letters*
- Frenzy......recorded by Una Mae Carlisle
- Glorita....."There is an Island that is below the Equator that Sailors Keep Talking About"
- Here Comes the Fastest Man In Town*......."He's More Than Sixty Inches Round"
- I Bought Myself a Book
- In Satiago By The Sea
- Mad About Love
- My Dream Christmas......."Is a Christmas with You"
- The Best Idea You Had
- The Sweetest Words I Know
- Tonight Be Tender To Me.....Recorded by Gloro Records
- Up And Down Mambo....."Up and Down and Down and Up You Go"
- You'll Always Be My Darling
- Wise Men Say*
Gloria Parker Spiritual Songs:
- God Blessed Us With This True Love
- Glory To Our God
- Help Me, Oh Help Me Dear Lord
- I Asked The Lord In The Sky's Above
- Last Night I Had A Dream
- There's A Little Church Around The Corner
- There's A Miricle That Is Waiting For Someone Who Wants It
- You Gotta Think Positive
"The Canon Ball Twist" written by Glory Kennedy (excerpt from Twist Magazine Twisting at the Pepermint Lounge)
Gloria's hit songs were made into short musical films that entertained audiences at the movie theatre before a show as well as played and viewed in "Soundie Machines". Gloria starred in these films produced and directed by William Forest Crouch.
*Several of these musical films are as follows: Broadway And Main, Four Letters, Here Comes The Fatest Man In Town, Penthouse Party and Wise Men Say
This was a new way to reach audiences, combining a story with music and has since lead the way to the development of Music Video's as seen on VH-1 or MTV.
Gloria Parker plays many Musical Instruments: Marimba, Musical Glasses, Piano, Organ, Violin, Viola,Vibraphone, Xylophone, Drums and All Latin Percussion Instruments.