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: Brooks fires it up – Garth Brooks may have stood outside of country music by and large for 17 years, but he is jumping back in with both feet and more. Brooks released "Man Against Machine" in November, his first disc of original music in 13 years. Last fall, he launched a world tour, which is rolling out with multiple dates in multiple cities, sometimes... »»»
Concert Review: Reverend Horton Heat makes it look easy – Reverend Horton Heat has been going at it for three decades now. It hasn't always been easy, admitted Jim Heath, the singer and axe grinder for the Dallas-based psychobilly band. But Heath have been talking about making a go of it in the musical business, one presumes, because if talking about the music itself, his two band mates could have... »»»
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

Brown becomes "In Style Again" Surely there is some irony in the title of Jim Ed Brown's new album - "In Style Again." At least it's a little ironic for his fans, for as far as they're concerned neither Brown nor his music have been out of style. His strong, mellow voice flows like liquid gold over and around any song he chooses to sing.... »»»
The "Beauty" of Price continues Before Ray Price died - just over one year ago, on Dec. 16, 2013 - he told his wife, Janie, that she would have to carry on his legacy by going out, promoting the album that he had just recorded, "Beauty Is...," and visiting with his legions of fans. He told me, Janie says, "you're gonna be the closest thing to me that people are going to want to reach out to."... »»»
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.... »»»