Gloria Parker

Swing music, Musical Artist


Who is Gloria Parker?

"Glorious" Gloria Parker is an American entertainer and female icon during the big band or swing era, as an all girl bandleader. The Gloria Parker Show aired nightly from 1950 to 1957, coast to coast on WABC Radio and Parker entertained her audience playing the marimba, organ and the singing glasses or glass harp. Parker conducted the 21-piece Swingphony broadcasting nationally from the Kelly Lyceum Ballroom in Buffalo, New York. This was the largest big band ever led by a female bandleader. Edgar Battle and Footsie Thomas were engaged as arrangers for the Swingphony.

Parker is also known for her starring roles in the music films or Soundies. Broadway And Main with Stepin Fetchit, Four Letters, Here Comes The Fatest Man In Town with comedic personality Mel Blanc as Santa Claus, Penthouse Party featuring Parker playing the glass harp and Wise Men Say, all produced and directed by William Forest Crouch. She composed the music and wrote the lyrics for all of the above mentioned popular music films. The Soundies were viewed on the Panoram, a coin-operated film jukebox, in nightclubs, bars, restaurants, amusement parks and community centers.

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Also known as
  • "Glorious" Gloria Parker
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Brooklyn

on July 23, 2013


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