While the chief jazz harpist is Dorothy Ashby, the great popular harpist is Robert Maxwell. Another very famous performer (radio, television shows, motion pictures, etc.) was Verlye Mills, who recorded enduring music in varied styles at various times. Historically most harpists have been women, and the instrument has never been assured of a place even in the wings of most orchestras. There are a few pop records featuring harp as a solo instrument, as well as several "swing harp" records in the jazz field. Even the most strictly "pop" albums tend to rely on stellar jazz musicians.
Harpo Marx recorded several albums with the help of Fred Katz and his son Bill, a student at Juillard at the time of Harpo in Hi-Fi. Harpo has been dismissed as a self-taught amateur, but the fact is his records are works of extraordinary passion, unorthodox technique, and palatable romanticism.
Buying: Most of Maxwell's pop albums are essential. See jazz listings for more by the ladies of swing harp, including the legendary Afro Harping.
|6||Mimi Allen: There Goes My Harp; Decca DL-78825|
|8||Margret Brill: The Fabulous Harp of Margret Brill, Harpist-Composer; Starr 816 (avant/space harp)|
|6||De Wayne Fulton: The Harp Wears a Lei; Mahalo M-3005|
|6||Betty Glamann: Swinging on a Harp; Mercury MG-20169|
|6||The Daphne Hellman Quartet: Holiday for Harp; Columbia/Harmony HL-7167 (partly jazz)|
|4||The Stanley Johnson Orchestra: Have Harp Can't Travel; Liberty LST-7118 (harpists Dorothy Remsen & Catherine Johnk)|
|Harpo Marx: Harpo 10"|
|6||Harpo Marx: Harpo in Hi-Fi; Mercury MG-20232|
|7||Harpo Marx: Harpo at Work; Mercury MG-20363|
|6||Verlye Mills: The Magic Harp of Verlye Mills; HI-FI SR-601|
|6||Verlye Mills: Harp with a Beat; HI-FI SR-606 (w/Billy May)|
|7||Verlye Mills: The Two Sides of Verlye Mills; Vignette CFS-2668 (1/2 classical, 1/2 pop-jazz incl. "Tico Tico")|
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