Sign up for newsletter
 

Outlaw Country's Glaser dies at 79

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 – Tompall Glaser, a member of the country outlaw movement and the Grand Ole Opry, died Tuesday at 79 in Nashville after a long illness.

Thomas Paul Glaser, a Spalding, Neb., native, began performing with his brothers, Jim and Chuck, as The Glaser Brothers in the 1950s and later moved to Nashville after meeting Marty Robbins. The three Glasers sang back up for Robbins.

Between 1960 and 1975, the trio recorded 10 studio albums and charted nine singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. Rings hit number seven in 1971.

But they were not keen on the record label set-up, which softened the country sound away from traditional country. Tompall Glaser was associated with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson in rebelling against the labels. The Glasers started their own music publishing company and recording studio, later called "Hillbilly Central." Jennings recorded his classic Dreaming My Dreams there with producer Cowboy Jack Clement, who just died last week.

"Tompall was way ahead of the game in terms of artist rights and taking control of the creative process, and encouraging people to do what was in their heart and soul, because he really had a lot of empathy for real artists," said recording engineer Kyle Lehning in a recently released documentary film about the Glaser Brothers.

Glaser appeared on "Wanted! The Outlaws," a 1976 compilation that included Nelson and Jennings. The album, which included his version of Shel Silverstein's Put Another Log on the Fire, became country music's first platinum-selling album. The song peaked at 21 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1975.

"Tompall had a voice that, if he'd have been an actor, he'd have been Richard Burton," said singer-songwriter and friend Marshall Chapman.

Only two of Glaser's discs charted - "The Great Tompall and His Outlaw Band" hit 13 in 1975 and "Tompall Glaser & His Outlaws Band" hit 38 the following year.

Glaser co-wrote The Streets of Baltimore, which Bobby Bare took to number one in 1966, with Harlan Howard. The Glasers also recorded the song.

The band hit number two in 1981 with Lovin' Her Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again).

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Over the Rhine presents its version of holiday songs – Shortly before performing Merle Haggard's downer Christmas song, "If We Make It Through December," Over The Rhine co-leader Linford Detweiler remarked how his wife (and other half of OTR) Karin Bergquist recently described the act's holiday sounds as "reality Christmas music." And when a duo includes a song like "My... »»»
Concert Review: Perhaps not country, but Urban stars – After Keith Urban scorched a version of "Days Go By," a man in his mid-50s in a Led Zeppelin T shirt said to his rhinestone clad lady friend, "This is not country music, that guy's a rock star." Indeed, the chart topping Aussie further contributes to country's multiple personality disorder, but in a category other than pop.... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic.... »»»
For Shires, home is where the family lies Mercy Rose Isbell recently celebrated her first birthday and, ironically, the album she helped inspire has just been released. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Mercy Rose is, of course, the daughter of singer/songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, two of the most gifted Americana artists working today... ... »»»
The Earls of Leicester rattle and roar Something old is new again. The Earls of Leicester, fresh from their first release in late 2014 and the IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award for 2015, followed that remarkable success with "Rattle and Roar."... »»»
Gunslinger CD review - Gunslinger
If naming your release "Gunslinger," you'd better let it rip and go for a harder country sound, especially if donning a black cowboy hat on the cover. The reality does not exactly match that sentiment for Garth Brooks, but at times he comes mighty close. »»»
Christmas Together CD review - Christmas Together
Listening to Garth Brooks' and Trisha Yearwood's new holiday album of (mostly) duets, one is once again reminded how Yearwood is one of the most underrated country artists, whereas - if we're being honest - Brooks is a little on the overrated side. »»»