1-CD with 12-page booklet, 21 tracks. Playing time approx. 70 mns.
One of the original Outlaws, Tompall came to Nashville with his brothers to join Marty Robbins as a backing vocalists. They eventually went out on their own, but Tompall quit the brother act and went solo, identifying with the artistic freedoms that Willie and Waylon and others were striving for. Very much the neglected outlaw these days, his classic ABC recordings (issued complete here among others on two CDs) belong in the collection of anyone who likes the Seventies outlaw sound. His reinterpretations of country and rock oldies are especially worth listening for.
TOMPALL GLASER THE OUTLAW
Of all the Outlaws who envigorated mainstream country music in the Seventies, Tompall Glaser was the most dangerous as far as the Nashville status quo was concerned. Thanks to his success as the senior member of the trio the Glaser Brothers, the Glasers ran Hillbilly Central, a recording studio on Nineteenth Avenue South in Nashville. He was a self-contained performer and producer, someone who could thrive in Nashville without Nashville's usual constraints, and that's what made him most worrisome to the city music establishment's perennial powers.
Glaser was born in Spalding, Nebraska, on September 3, 1933. Glaser remembers that the first songs he learned on guitar were Ernest Tubb tunes, and he soon was able to replicate Jimmy Short's legendary terse, slangy six-string figures. A budding lead guitarist needs a band, and Tompall turned to his siblings. By his late teens, along with his brothers Chuck and Jim (he has two other brothers, Bob and Jack, and a sister, Eleanor), Tompall was performing regularly around the area, playing a mixture of folk and country music, but with a definite country leaning. By this time, the family home had finally been electrified, and Carter Family, Vernon Dalhart, Riley Puckett and Jimmie Rodgers were regulars on the house Victrola. "The Carter Family recordings inspired our group," Tompall told Dixie Deen in 1967. "
That was later on. In the beginning, I didn't know we were going to have a group and I was going to be a soloist. I started out admiring people like Eddy Arnold, Ernest Tubb, and Gene Autry."
Tompall did some time for Uncle Sam in Germany. By the time he returned and re-energized the group in 1957, the trio was popular enough to land themselves a regular gig on KHAS-TV in Hastings, Nebraska. In August 1957, they won an audition for the Arthur Godfrey Show and were soon noticed by Marty Robbins, who heard them cover his A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation), then sitting comfortably atop 'Billboard's' country chart. Robbins was impressed by how close their harmonies mirrored those on his record (this was no accident - the trio had meticulously prepared for what was presented as an impromptu audition) and promptly hired them to back him up on stage.
The star signed the Glaser Brothers to his own label, Robbins Records, and within a year sold the contract to Decca. Now billed as Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, they moved to Nashville in early 1959 and worked with producer Owen Bradley. Around the same time they outgrew Marty Robbins's stage band, when it was Chuck's turn to give the U.S. Army two years of his life. During this time, their friend Joe Babcock, who had also replaced Tompall during his military stint, completed the trio. The Glasers, both with and without Joe Babcock, can also be heard in support of Hank Snow on his better recordings from the early '60s. Their work with Snow clearly eclipses the more saccharine backings of the Anita Kerr Singers.
It was hard to pigeonhole the reunited Glaser Brothers in the early Sixties. Their live shows concentrated on country, though their Decca album, `This Land,' was clearly geared (at Owen Bradley's direction) toward the folk audience. It's no accident that during that period they toured with Johnny Cash, a towering perfomer also straddling folk and country. In a 1967 interview, Glaser emphasized the importance of Cash to his career. He said that although the Brothers had long since left Robbins's tutelage, "we had the reputation of being just a backing group, and we were dependent on what work we could get on recording sessions.
We had all borrowed all we could from the band and we were at our lowest ebb. Then, one day, Johnny Cash called the Jordanaires, asking them to tour with him. Gordon Stoker told him that they didn't work out of the town and recommended us. Well, Johnny called us and we went to work for him. He kept telling us that we should be an individual act and he kept pushing us out in front until we were doing more by ourselves than we were backing. He took us to Carnegie Hall and to Las Vegas. Thanks to Johnny Cash, the rest of Nashville grew to recognize us as an act."
The Decca years brought little chart success to Tompall, Chuck, and Jim; the low point was probably a promotional tour in which the Brothers were embarrassed to be pantomiming their records before what Tompall called "a bunch of nine-year-olds who were looking at us knowing we weren't singing and thinking what a bunch of idiots we were." Their luck changed when they moved to MGM in 1965. Under the stewardship of an assertive producer, the boisterous Sun Records alumnus Jack Clement, they chalked up some country chart success, as well as one minor pop hit, California Girl (And The Tennessee Square).
|The Outlaw (CD) 1|
|1:||It Never Crossed My Mind|
|2:||The Bad Times|
|3:||What Are We Doin' With The Rest Of Our Lives|
|4:||How I Love Them Old Songs|
|5:||On Second Thought|
|6:||Drinking Them Beers|
|7:||My Mother Was A Lady|
|8:||Duncan And Brady|
|9:||Easy On My Mind|
|10:||The Wonder Of It All|
|11:||Storms Never Last/You Can Have Her|
|14:||Come Back Shane|
|15:||It'll Be Her|
|16:||[It Ain't Fair Medley:|
|17:||Look What Thoughts Will Do|
|19:||It Ain't Fair]|
|20:||Sweethearts Or Strangers|
|21:||Let My Fingers Do The Walking|
|22:||I Just Want To Hear The Music|
|23:||My Live Would Make A Damn Good Country Song|