Robert Glenn
A Life of Music, Magic, and a little bit of Mayhem...

For over 30 years, a dream was making its way through the stars — a dream that would fulfill the hope of an extraordinary artist, while bringing smiles to the faces of people from all over the globe. On the fourteenth of May 2006, this dream came true when Robert Glenn took his place at one of the most famous pianos in the world…the piano of Main Street USA, Disneyland!

A perfect stage for Robert, the Disney piano bench offers every opportunity for him to shine. His fingers fly over the keys with the greatest of ease, a musical mastermind of improvisational style, brilliant creative artistry, and bighearted fun! Pulling up chairs to gather around the piano, audiences are enchanted by what they see and hear, for Robert truly is a master of his craft with an innate ability to make people smile. Happiness is always in the air, as he often plays accompanied by Mary Poppins and Bert, or The Mad Hatter, Alice, and The Queen of Hearts. Four-Hand piano is also a crowd favorite, as Robert shares the keys with the luckiest of park guests. But perhaps the most spectacular of all, are Robert’s many medleys—brilliant musical journeys in which he floats from one song to the next, changing keys with perfection, leaving listeners standing in awe. These are moments of spontaneously arranged bliss, dazzling genius, and pure magic!

Music and magic have always been a part of Robert’s life, and having been a father to two children, he certainly experienced a little mayhem as well! The journey to his dreams began when he was very young. His earliest memories are glimpses of the beginnings of a legend, memories of a family sharing their love of music and their love of life. Memories of a grandmother playing the piano, of his father playing the violin and especially the trumpet, and memories of sitting in church during the week listening to his mom practice for Sunday service, elegantly playing the piano and organ.  It was when he was only 4 that his mom began giving him piano lessons after he climbed into her lap one day and exclaimed “Me too Mommy!” 

By the age of 7, Robert was performing in recitals and competitions, often placing in the top 5. His remarkable gift was unmistakable and he began placing 1st or 2nd as his proficiency quickly increased. Music was a part of him, part of the magic.

As he entered his teens, Robert grew tired of classical music, and nothing but classical music. He had received a Honky Tonk piano record with his first phonograph and loved it. He’d seen Victor Borge. He watched Jo Ann Castle, Lawrence Welk’s Ragtime Piano Gal, and loved the Liberace Show. These greats had fun with the piano. Robert wanted to have fun with music too.

It was then that his parents introduced him to Harold Graham, who taught at the store where Robert’s mom sold pianos and organs. He wanted Robert as a student, and Robert was thrilled to have a teacher that shared his desire to make music fun. Robert worked hard, but Harold Graham made all that hard work worthwhile. He didn’t just teach Robert how to play, but guided him into understanding what he was playing, laying the foundation for the amazing road that lay ahead.

By age 17, Robert had a work permit that allowed him to play in a local ice cream parlor a few hours a week. At 18, he went to work in Shakey’s Pizza Parlors where he met fellow pianist Rod Miller. Soon thereafter, Disneyland hired Rod, and Robert was given the parlor Rod had been playing at. He was also given Lance McLean, “Banjo Maestro Extraordinaire.”  The duo worked together for several years until circumstances in life changed.

Once again, Robert found himself a solo pianist. He went to work at the North Woods Inn Restaurants in San Gabriel, Covina, and Long Beach, California. It was during that time, around 1981, that a new aspect of his performance was born, broadening his scope and delighting audiences even more—he was asked to sing!

With his newfound talent, he continued to perform in restaurants and cabaret for the next few decades, adding Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and the Great American Songbook to his repertoire. Then suddenly, everything changed. After 37 years with Disneyland, his old friend Rod Miller retired…37 years after taking over his stool at Shakey’s Pizza Parlor, Robert found himself sitting down on his stool at “Coke Corner” on Main Street USA and loving every minute of it! An amazing road, and an amazing artist, Robert’s journey has in so many ways begun again. A dream came true for this dreamer, and all those fortunate to experience his magic carry a smile in their hearts.

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