Gove Scrivenor was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1945, and raised in the small coastal town of Pine Orchard, CT until his 15th birthday when he went off to ‘High Mowing School’ in Wilton, New Hampshire. ‘High Mowing School’ is one of the Waldorf schools that places great emphasis on the Arts and Nature, and encouraged Gove to express himself through music.
Gove’s musical influences began with the regular summer visits of Benny Goodman and Red Nichols and the Five Pennies to his home in Pine Orchard. His father had been a band leader in college and had befriended Benny and Red after graduation in 1927. These were musical events to remember for a boy of ten. The joy of music was everywhere then and although Gove’s own style was affected more by the artists and musicians of the folk and blues genre, like Tom Rush, Eric Von Schmidt, Joan Baez, Paul Butterfield, Dylan and the like, he cherishes those times with his father and the incredible musicians who frequented his house on those lazy summer afternoons.
After school in New Hampshire, Gove entlisted in the Navy and spent four years as a submarine sonar technician and was smitten by the music of the Newport Folk Festival in 1964. He attended the Festival three years running. It was underneath a tree, in a field at the fest, that he drew his first ‘crowd’ and it dawned on him that he might be an artist himself when he got out of the Navy.
When he was honorably discharged form the Navy in 1967, Gove settled in Virginia Beach, VA and began playing at the local coffee house “The Upstairs” with fellow beach dwellers Emmy Lou Harris, Mike Williams, Bryan Bowers, and ‘Juice’ Newton. They had all moved to the beach to be closer to the Edgar Cayce Headquarters, the Association for Research and Enlightenment. These were the days when everyone was searching for their muse! After a couple of years, Emmy went off to Washington, DC, Gove to Nashville, Bryan to Seattle, and later, Juice to L.A.
Gove’s move to Nashville proved fruitful two days after he arrived there! He was signed by the largest music publishing company in the world, Acuff-Rose. Wesley Rose saw in Gove just what was needed for their fledgling TRX record label, and signed him to a recording contract as well as a songwriter agreement. He assigned Don Grant to produce and the result was a critically acclaimed album “Heavy Cowboy.” Don went on to produce several Jimmy Buffett albums, as well as the Neon Philharmonic and Delbert McClinton. Gove’s song “I Saw My Lady” from the album became a Top Twenty Hit for Dickie Lee in 1970. A lot was happening!
In 1971, Gove signed a management and booking pact with Don Light Talent in Nashville, who had just signed the newly arrived Jimmy Buffett. Soon the roster included Delbert McClinton, Alex Harvey, Steve Wariner, Keith Whitley, Lonnie Mack and others.
During the years with Don Light, Gove toured with Delbert and Jimmy and the Original Coral Reefer Band throughout Texas and the Southeast, gathering a following that led to a recording deal with Flying Fish Records, the label out of Chicago that featured such diverse artists as The Incredible String Band, Vassaar Clements, and John Hartford. Gove’s album, “Shady Gove,” which featured Doc Watson, John Hartford, Buddy Emmons and a host of others, was the first of two highly regarded releases for the label. The second album “Coconut Gove” also included Doc, along with Marty Stewart, Ben Keith and Dave Loggins.
The release of these albums led to Gove being invited to perform not once but twice on the highly acclaimed “Austin City Limits” television show. He shared the hour with The Amazing Rhythm Aces on the first show and then with Doc Watson on the second.
As a result of these performances, bookings at colleges, festivals, and clubs poured in and Gove found himself playing all over the U.S. and Australia. Standing ovations and rave reviews of his shows were the order of the day, and then the bottom fell out the Folk and Blues circuit with the advent of the ‘alternative music’ movement in the early 80’s. He “settled” in Nashville for a dozen years and established himself as a session player, playing autoharp mostly, on records for Dolly Parton, Dan Seals, Neil Young, Glen Campbell, Hank Williams, Jr., Iris Dement and many others.
Gove now resides in Orange Beach, Alabama, where he is involved with building boats and clearing the way for a new CD and touring schedule, as it seems the demand for singer-songwriters is on the rise…