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: Girls with Guitars show voices – With the official departure of Taylor Swift from the genre, country music is eager to find replacement star power. Pittsburgh's annual Girls with Guitars show is proving to be a nebula. This year's crop of artists featured former "The Voice" contestants (one winner), a television star and some local flair. Texas cutie... »»»
Concert Review: Washburn, Fleck give reasons to be happy  – "I sing because I'm happy," sang Abigail Washburn toward the end of her show with fellow banjo picker (not to mention, husband) Bela Fleck in the closing number of the night "His Eye is on the Sparrow." Washburn had a lot of reason to be on this night in a beautiful setting at Harvard University. The two held court over two... »»»
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

Fullbright writes the "Songs" John Fullbright didn' grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters in his little hometown of Bearden, Okla. You'd never know it, though, from his raw, stark, pure and honest songwriting that's drawn comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. His debut album, "From the Ground Up," was nominated for a 2013 Grammy as the Best Americana Album, catapulting him into the company of Bonnie Raitt, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers.... »»»
Book dishes on guys writing the songs Jake Brown can't stop writing about music. Over the past 10 years, he's published 35 books, ranging from "Rick Rubin: In the Studio" and "Suge Knight: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Death Row Records" to "Heart: In the Studio." In 2012, he won the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards in the category of Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.... »»»
Finally, Skaggs and White duet Perhaps there are few more beloved names in the world of country and bluegrass music than Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon of the country music family act The Whites. The two have been close friends since their teenage years through music, first meeting at a festival where White was performing with her father Buck White and sister Cheryl, and Skaggs was playing with Keith Whitley.... »»»