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: The Cadillac Three, Sellers do it their own way – The way The Cadillac Three lead singer Jaren Johnston told it, the band could have had their choice of opening tours this year for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen. No go though because the long-haired singer fronting the rough-and-most-definitely ready trio said the band wanted to do it their own way. Based on this most... »»»
Concert Review: Folk Alliance binds past, present and future – Glance back 50 years and the idea of a folk music festival would bring to mind a gathering dominated by tie-dye, Birkenstocks and people who might otherwise find work as stunt doubles for Peter, Paul and Mary. In a sense, that's still the perception for those unawares, but at the 29th Folk Alliance International conference there was far more of a... »»»
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

Gibson Brothers rise up from "In the Ground" There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves with outstanding sidemen with impeccable bluegrass cred: Jesse Brock (mandolin), Mike Barber (bass) and Clayton Campbell on fiddle.... »»»
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... ... »»»
Vaquero CD review - Vaquero
Independent singer/songwriter Aaron Watson's "Vaquero" is an ambitious 16-song mix of Texas country and mainstream Nashville with mostly good results. The strongest tracks are those that embrace the Tex Mex style of the title track, which imparts some sound advice delivered by an "old Mexican cowboy" the singer meets in a bar ("don't live your life like a sad country song/ A fool on a stool still a fool right or wrong"). »»»