September 3, 1933 – August 13, 2013
Tompall Glaser was one of the original so-called “outlaws” of country music. Alongside the likes of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Billy Joe Shaver, Glaser put Nashville on watch by working, living, and playing outside the mainstream country music rules of the ’70s. Born in Spalding, Nebraska, Glaser initially moved to Nashville with his brothers to sing back up for Marty Robbins. The brothers were also making their own records before Tompall went off on his own. Over the course of his solo career, he released around a dozen albums that included hit country singles like “Put Another Log On The Fire” and “It’ll Be Her.” Perhaps his most famous song however, “Streets Of Baltimore,” found its glory thanks to being covered by the likes of Gram Parsons, Bobby Bare, the Statler Brothers, Charley Pride, and Norah Jones‘ country group, the Little Willies. Meanwhile, Glaser and his brothers opened Glaser Brothers Sound Studio, or as it was affectionately known around town, Hillbilly Central. The compound quickly established itself as the fostering ground for the “outlaw” movement. As it took hold, even RCA Records had to react by releasing Wanted! The Outlaws, a compilation of previously released tracks by Glaser, Nelson, Jennings, and Jessie Colter. Glaser’s contribution, “T For Texas,” reached #36 on the Country Singles charts and is considered one of the milestones of the era. The album itself, released in 1976, became the first Country album to sell over 1 million copies as it reached #1 on the Country Album charts and #10 on the Pop Album charts. Glaser continued to record with his brothers until 1982 and released one last solo album in 1986 before selling the studio and retiring from the music business altogether. Tompall Glaser died following a long undisclosed illness on August 13, 2013. He was 79.
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