Beverly Glenn-Copeland emergence in his mid-seventies should give hope to late bloomers everywhere.
As with other musicians who were discovered late — Vashti Bunyan, Linda Perhacs and Sixto Rodriguez for example — the songs sound even more precious because they’re being heard so far from their creation. Glenn-Copeland, a trans man who has spent much of the past few decades writing music for children’s television such as Sesame Street, made a self-titled album of intricate, stunningly beautiful folk in 1970 and went on to experiment with ambient electronica on 1986’s Keyboard Fantasies.
When a record collector got in touch with him in 2015 looking to buy any remaining copies of the latter, which at that point only existed on about 150 cassettes, belated cult status began. Today a compilation album is released, Transmissions, a career overview that includes a new song, River Dreams.
The pandemic has put paid to his first major international tour, a financial blow that left him and his wife “essentially homeless”, according to a GoFundMe page. That the appeal closed with $91,676 raised and housing security achieved is a sign of how beloved his music is at last.