And Yet Another One—Tompall Glaser at 79

Will add more later, but here’s the obituary by Bill Friskics-Warren at the New York Times:

Tompall Glaser, Country Artist in Outlaw Movement, Dies at 79

Tompall Glaser, a key figure in country music’s outlaw movement of the 1970s, died on Tuesday on his way to a hospital in Nashville. He was 79.

His death was confirmed by his nephew Louis Glaser, who did not specify the cause.

Mr. Glaser was one of four Nashville performers, along with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, featured on the 1976 compilation “Wanted! The Outlaws,” the first album in the history of country music to be certified platinum for sales of one million copies.

The album, which all but single-handedly introduced Nashville’s expression of the freewheeling outlaw spirit to the popular mainstream, included Mr. Glaser’s husky-voiced version of Shel Silverstein’s “Put Another Log on the Fire (Male Chauvinist National Anthem).”

Mr. Glaser and his younger brothers, Jim and Chuck, had earlier opened Glaser Sound Studios, an artists’ haven off Nashville’s Music Row commonly referred to as Hillbilly Central. Renowned for allowing musicians free rein in the studio — and not producers, as was then the custom in Nashville — Hillbilly Central produced outlaw touchstones like Jennings’s 1975 classic “Dreaming My Dreams” and Kinky Friedman’s 1973 debut album, “Sold American.” Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver and Bobby Bare, for whom Mr. Glaser and Harlan Howard wrote “The Streets of Baltimore,” a No. 1 country hit in 1966, made landmark recordings there as well.

Mr. Glaser and his brothers also established their own publishing company, advocating for songwriters to retain ownership and control of their material. Among their earliest signings was John Hartford, the singer and banjo player whose original composition “Gentle on My Mind” won Grammy Awards for both him and Glen Campbell in 1968.

“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,” the Grammy-winning Nashville producer Kyle Lehning said in the 2012 documentary “The Story of the Glaser Brothers: From Nebraska Ranchers to Nashville Rebels” . . .

More here.

And here’s Peter Cooper in the Tennessean:

Tompall Glaser, outlaw country artist, dies at 79

Thomas Paul “Tompall” Glaser — a staunchly independent singer, songwriter, studio owner, publisher and recording artist and a central figure in country music’s much-vaunted “Outlaw Movement” of the 1970s — died Tuesday at his Nashville home after a long illness. Glaser, who was featured on Wanted! The Outlaws, country music’s first million-selling album, was 79.

Glaser was an unabashed rebel in a company town. He and brothers Chuck and Jim owned the 19th Avenue South studio formally known as Glaser Brothers Sound Studios but commonly called “Hillbilly Central,” where groundbreaking works including John Hartford’s Aereo-Plain and Waylon Jennings’ Dreaming My Dreams were recorded. Populated by a gang of misfits including Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Billy Ray Reynolds, Roger “Captain Midnight” Schutt and others, Hillbilly Central was a kingdom unto its own.

“That building was a fortress,” said Glaser Sound secretary and publicist Hazel Smith, in Michael Bane’s book Outlaws: Revolution In Country Music. “It was a place where they could go and hide. It was home to them, and there were no Picassos on the wall”. . .

Here’s a reunion video of Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, singing Kristofferson’s “Loving Her Was Easier” in 1990:

[Hat tip: Louis in NYC]


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