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.

[Pop] Harp LPs

6Mimi Allen: There Goes My Harp; Decca DL-78825
8Margret Brill: The Fabulous Harp of Margret Brill, Harpist-Composer; Starr 816 (avant/space harp)
6De Wayne Fulton: The Harp Wears a Lei; Mahalo M-3005
6Betty Glamann: Swinging on a Harp; Mercury MG-20169
6The Daphne Hellman Quartet: Holiday for Harp; Columbia/Harmony HL-7167 (partly jazz)
4The Stanley Johnson Orchestra: Have Harp Can't Travel; Liberty LST-7118 (harpists Dorothy Remsen & Catherine Johnk)
Harpo Marx: Harpo 10"
6Harpo Marx: Harpo in Hi-Fi; Mercury MG-20232
7Harpo Marx: Harpo at Work; Mercury MG-20363
6Verlye Mills: The Magic Harp of Verlye Mills; HI-FI SR-601
6Verlye Mills: Harp with a Beat; HI-FI SR-606 (w/Billy May)
7Verlye Mills: The Two Sides of Verlye Mills; Vignette CFS-2668 (1/2 classical, 1/2 pop-jazz incl. "Tico Tico")

Hyp Records is a 3-part guide:

Shop Hip Wax

Some items above may be available at
Hip Wax

Hyp Records Guide © 1996 Hip Wax