Now, for Pasadenans that have been around for a few generations may already know about Loretta
Thompson Glickman, Pasadena’s first African American Mayor. And for those who know even more are aware that she was a traveling Jazz/Pop musician before getting involved in politics. As her music career came to a close, she wanted to start a family.
Born in 1945, Loretta Thompson Glickman was a Jazz singer who toured with The New Christy Minstrels, an American large-ensemble folk music group founded by Randy Sparks in 1961. She also performed the show “London Fog” LIVE at The Gold Rush on December 8th, 1973 with Keith Thomas, Dianne Thomas, Bruce Eskovitz, Steve Rawlins, and others. Keith Thomas has made the “London Fog” cover performance songs available for free download (below).
Glickman was encouraged to get into politics by her colleagues. She began campaigning in Pasadena’s Northwest District 3 where she would win and eventually be reelected. District 3, predominantly African American at the time, would not hold Glickman forever. She went on to become Vice Mayor then eventually Pasadena’s first ever African American Mayor. It was reported by Ebony Magazine’s 1982 August Issue that this was ‘something to boast about’, as is the annual Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl game.
It took some research, but we were able to find actual music by Loretta Thompson Glickman. Although these are not originals, they are her actual lead vocals. She’s covered hit songs from Stevie
Wonder and Roberta Flack to Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight. You won’t find this information of Loretta Glickman on her Wikipedia page. Musician Keith Thomas took the initiative to publish audio from cover songs they did as “Loretta and London Fog” LIVE at the Gold Rush off Sepulveda Boulevard in Mission Hills, California in 1973.
For the first African American Mayor of Pasadena, we find it cool how she already had a career as a musician. Of course, she wasn’t super major, performing at local jazz bands. But, for the local music scene, it is seen as a vital piece of Pasadena music heritage worthy of historic preservation. Loretta’s accomplishments are a great model for young women, especially African American girls, to follow. Not necessarily to pursue the exact same career as her, but to reach and possibly beat the standard she set.
|Event Cover Art|
|Download Set One (Audio)|
|Download Set Two (Audio)
2. I Don’t Want to be Lonely – James Taylor
3. Are You Ready – Pacific Gas and Electric
4. Jesse – Roberta Flack
5. Grazin’ in the Grass – Hugh Masekela
6. Midnight Train – Gladys Knight and the Pips
7. Shambala – Three Dog Night
|Download Set Three (Audio)
2. Natural High – Bloodstone
3. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
4. So Very Hard to Go – Tower of Power
5. Killing Me Softly – Roberta Flack
6. Long Train Runnin’ – Doobie Brothers
|Download Set Four (Audio)
2. Rainy Night in Georgia – Brook Benton
3. I’ll Take You There – Staple Singers
4. Proud Mary – Tina Turner
5. Right Place – Dr. John
6. Stormy – Classic IV
7. Circles – Billy Preston