Glover, James Mackey (‘Jimmy’) (1861–1931), music director and composer, was born 18 June 1861 at Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire), Co. Dublin, son of James Mackey, town commissioner, and Mary Jane Mackey (née Glover). His father was a Fenian who lost his official position after 1868. Living in Sandycove, Co. Dublin, he was educated at Belvedere College and was part-time organist at Dublin's pro-cathedral and St Michael's and Mount Argus parish churches. Apprenticed for three years to a druggist, he was intended for a career in chemistry before his grandfather, J. W. Glover (qv), a composer and editor of the Irish melodies of Thomas Moore (qv), sent him to France in 1879 for a musical education at the Paris Conservatoire and Caen Lycée. In 1880 he took his grandfather's surname and was engaged as musical director at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London's Tottenham Court Road. He occupied the same position in 1882 at the Olympia Theatre, and in 1885 at the Empire in Leicester Square. He was an associate of George Moore (qv) in London, and incidents from his life with touring companies feature throughout Moore's The mummer's wife (1884); he appears as the character Montgomery. In 1883 he collaborated with George and his brother Augustus Moore in a commercially unsuccessful adaptation of the popular French light opera ‘Les cloches de Corneville’ (1883). True artists, the three men slept all day and worked at night; Glover regularly composed at home in his pyjamas. He later worked with George Moore on the score of another light opera, ‘A fashionable beauty’ (1885). A friend of William Wilde (qv) from childhood, he wrote the music to Charles Brookfield's ‘The poet and the puppets’ (1892), an 1892 burlesque of ‘Lady Windermere's fan’ (1891) by Oscar Wilde (qv). Brookfield was later suspected of collecting evidence against Wilde for the marquis of Queensberry.
With his heavy frame, prominent nose, and ever present monocle, he was best known to the public as music director of the Drury Lane Theatre from 1897 to 1920; he was first employed there by Sir Augustus Harris, who was impressed by his arrangement of ‘Daddy wouldn't buy me a bow-wow’. He enjoyed a number of lucrative contracts at the Covent Garden Royal Italian Opera and as composer of a huge amount of pantomimes and theatre, ballet, and light opera. Elected mayor (1907) of the south coast resort town Bexhill-on-Sea, he served as town magistrate for two years and was conductor of Bexhill's orchestra. Managing director of Plymouth's Theatre Royal (1912–13), he found time to be music critic for the Sun and Evening News as well as making occasional contributions to the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. Editor of Theatre and Concert World and the Theatrical Managers' Journal, he wrote three volumes of increasingly eccentric autobiography. Jimmy Glover, hys booke (1911) is an excellent, gossip-filled history of nineteenth-century popular theatre with glimpses of subterranean bohemia; who could imagine that a Limerick contortionist called La Belle Lucida threaded needles with her eyelids at the Gardenia club in London's Leicester Square? Jimmy Glover's friends (1913) concentrates on his life at Drury Lane, while Hims ancient and modern (1926) is an epistolary rant against the horrors of modernity, primarily bolshevism. Having contracted pneumonia in February 1931, he died on 8 September 1931 at the Albany hotel, Hastings. He is buried in Hastings borough cemetery. He was married twice but both wives, Alba Fricker and Kathleen Collins, predeceased him.