Touring the nation, Glenn, who’s African-American, additionally confronted racism at its most nefarious. He ate alone in restaurant kitchens. Festivals canceled gigs, although his band headlined them. When his white bandmates have been requested to pair off in an Alabama lodge, he was pressured to sleep alone.
Glenn moved to Florissant, Mo., from Oakland, Calif., when he was about 12, however attended highschool in an adjoining city, Ferguson, which 5 years in the past erupted into heated protests after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. Through the turmoil, Glenn returned to speak to protesters, to offer them water, to hear.
The expertise modified him. It remodeled how he approached the anthem. He made what he known as a aware choice to sing in a approach that mirrored St. Louis’s variety. For the workforce’s followers from the Hill, the town’s Italian neighborhood, he added “a jazz Italian taste.” For the followers from Bevo Mill, the German and Bosnian part, he centered on brawny resonance. For the followers from the Northside, a predominantly African-American space, he sings how they might sing, how he does sing.
“I can’t disrespect the tune in any approach,” stated Glenn, who was within the stands at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego on July 25, 1990, when Roseanne Barr shrieked the anthem. “However I wish to make sure that they know that I’m singing for them, to not them. I’m representing them. I could also be in black pores and skin, however I’m representing St. Louis.”
On some recreation days, percolating with gusto, he calls Pippi and tells him to attend, simply wait, for later. On others, the brightness of his voice fades, and people are the nights when — not like Monday, when he crooned, “When the Blues go marching in,” in entrance of Part 123 — he can’t sing anymore.
“It’s by no means a problem that he didn’t sing properly,” Pippi stated. “You simply know that he’s not feeling as much as his greatest.”
Glenn estimated that he has sung about 70 p.c of the anthems through the years, and the instances when he has not, a bunch within the 300 Degree, when it hears the public-address announcer introduce his stand-in, screams, “That’s not Charles!”