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‘Outlaw’ Tompall Glaser Dead at 79

Tompall Glaser
Michael Ochs Archive, Getty Images

Singer-songwriter Tompall Glaser helped define the Outlaw movement in country music, but also kept a cult following as a solo artist and found success as a member of a vocal trio. The ‘Put Another Log on the Fire (Male Chauvinist National Anthem)’ singer died on Tuesday (Aug. 13) at the age of 79.

‘Wanted! The Outlaws’ was the first album to be certified Platinum for one million copies sold, and Glaser played a significant role in the project. His music is featured alongside songs by Waylon Jennings, Jessie Colter and Willie Nelson. It was this compilation album that defined a movement that had been gaining momentum since the early ’70s.

Prior to that, the Nebraska-born singer was a successful leader of Tompall and the Glaser Brothers. At first, the trio just served as studio or backing singers to artists like Marty Robbins, but before long, famed producer Jack Clement discovered them, and Tompall went on to write hits like ‘Streets of Baltimore,’ a No. 1 hit for Bobby Bare. The brothers would record hits like ‘California Girl,’ ‘Rings’ and ‘Ain’t It All Worth Living For.’ The group won the Vocal Group of the Year award at the 1970 CMA Awards.

The rebellious spirit that helped begin the Outlaw movement at Glaser’s Hillbilly Central studio may have made relationships difficult. Glaser would break away from his brothers in 1973 and later fall out with Jennings. As a solo artist, he continued to record albums before rejoining with the Glaser Brothers for their most commercially successful period. ‘Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)’ from 1981 was a No. 2 hit. They’d soon split again, and Tompall would release one last album before leaving the national stage in the mid-’80s.

Hillbilly Central was Outlaw central. “Its doors propped open to let in the young breezes sweeping the West End, the so-called Hillbilly Central offices became an outlaw safe haven,” writes author Michael Streissguth in ‘Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris and the Renegades of Nashville.’ “Former employees recalled Willie Nelson lazing on the front lawn and Waylon haunting the offices at three in the morning.” The building at 916 19th Ave. South is now home to Compass Records.

Thomas Paul Glaser died after a long illness, according to his nephew, Louis Glaser.

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