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Cody Brown

MYERS, ALAN GLENN [GLEN ALYN] (1947–2000). Glen Alyn, writer, musician, and poet, was born Alan Glenn Myers in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 24, 1947. Myers adopted the pen name of Glen Alyn as an adult. In 1968 he and a friend floated down the Mississippi River in an effort to attempt the longest water approach to Dallas. In 1969, during the Vietnam War, Alyn was drafted into the United States Army, where he served in the Headquarters Company of Third Brigade, Fourth Infantry Division, until 1970.

Following his tour of duty, Alyn returned to Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin, from which he graduated cum laude in 1974. Soon afterwards, Alyn began writing a biography about African-American bluesman and songster Mance Lipscomb, born in Navasota, Texas. Alyn worked on the manuscript for almost twenty years before it was published in 1993 as I Say Me for a Parable: The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman. The book is written in Lipscomb’s own dialect, as told to Alyn through interviews and conversations with the bluesman. The book won the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Deems Taylor Award for Best Music Book of 1993, as well as the Austin Writers’ League Violet Crown Award for Best in Literary Category.

Lipscomb agreed to do the interviews on the condition that he and Alyn divide any profits from the book equally. Although Lipscomb died in 1976, Alyn honored his promise and shared the profits with Lipscomb’s family, who still lived in Navasota. In addition to the book, Alyn also recorded a companion CD, entitled Glen Alyn does Mance Lipscomb—Telling Stories, Sangin ‘bout Suppas, along with a tape recording of some of Lipscomb’s original blues, entitled Texas Heat, 95 Degrees.

Alyn and his family moved to New Mexico in 1982 and established an organic fertilizer business. He returned to Austin in 1989 to pursue his writing and music. In 1990 Alyn joined the Austin Writers’ League and eventually became a board member from 1997 to 1998. In 1998 he toured several universities in support of his book about Mance Lipscomb. During this time he also fronted the Glen Alyn Earnest Tub Band, as well as hosted acoustic song swaps, such as “Hyde Park Unplugged” in Austin. In 1999 Alyn published a book of poetry entitled, Huckleberry Minh: A Walk Through Dreamland. Glen Alyn and his nineteen-year-old daughter, Sequoia Myers, died in a car accident on June 4, 2000.


Glen Alyn Papers, 1990–1994, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Austin American-Statesman, June 7, 2000. Austin Chronicle, June 9, 16, 2000.  

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Cody Brown, "MYERS, ALAN GLENN [GLEN ALYN]," accessed August 10, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmy05.

Uploaded on June 4, 2015. Modified on August 8, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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