Who was/is Glen Glenn ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Glen Glenn, born Glen Troutman in 1934 in Missouri, is one of the great original rockabilly artists of the 1950s. His Everybody's Movin' has been a dance floor favorite in the scene for decades, and his 1950s recorded output has been reissued extensively, with numerous compilation albums on CD and vinyl (including the great 'Glen Rocks!' CD on Bear Family).
Incredibly, Bear Family has put together this ten-inch album of interesting songs some never issued before and rare alternate takes, for a fresh look at Glen's legacy of hillbilly boogie, rockabilly, and hardcore honky-tonk country music.
The earliest tracks on here are demos from early 1955, recorded when the act was known as 'Glen and Gary - The Missouri Mountain Boys,' including his long time guitar-playing compatriot Gary Lambert. Company's Comin' was a 1954 hit for Glen's cousin Porter Wagoner, and here Glen and Gary give it a youthful spin that prove these were two California country kids who flirted dangerously with rockabilly before it was ever known as such.
Still imagining himself a country singer, Glen cut some excellent hard honky-tonk country demos in September 1956 with Gary Lambert on guitar and the core of Wynn Stewart's band (Ralph Mooney on steel guitar, Johnny Mosby on bass, and Helen 'Peaches' Price on drums). It Rains Rain, a Pete Stamper composition, is included here, and we've picked the lesser heard take two.
At the beginning of 1957, Glen and Gary cut more demo material at Black Jack Wayne's studio in the San Francisco area with Henry Maddox and Fred Maddox of The Maddox Brothers in the group. From this session we've included You're Not Mine and Glen's cover of Ray Price's I Made A Mistake And I'm Sorry. By this time Glen and Gary were splitting their energies between country and rock and roll, touring with the Maddox Brothers, showcased during the rock and roll segment of their show, introduced by Fred Maddox as "Glen Trout The Stinkin' Fisherman," a play on Johnny Horton's nickname 'The Singing Fisherman.'
The core of Glen's legacy has always been the three flawless 45s that he cut for Era Records, all released during 1958. These songs have been reissued over and over and on any night somewhere in the world a rockabilly group is covering one of those six songs. We've hand picked several alternate takes of these classic numbers to include on this album.
One Cup Of Coffee (And A Cigarette) included here is the first take, never issued before, and you can hear Glen, Gary and the band still working out the arrangement. In comparison to the 45 release, this version is faster and more spontaneous. Similarly, we've included an early, raucous take of Would Ya, along with some interesting studio chatter and false starts.
Glen Troutman, aka 'Glen Trout The Stinkin' Fisherman' was drafted into the Army, along with Gary Lambert, and stationed on Hawaii before his classic Era 45s were released.
When Everybody's Movin' came out, Glen was as surprised as anybody to find out his name had been changed to Glen Glenn by the record company.
It would be difficult to have a Glen Glenn release without his classic Everybody's Movin'. Not wanting to disappoint the fans, we've included take two, a very peppy, uptempo take compared to the slow burn of the released 45 version. Everybody's Movin', as Glen will tell you, has been covered by a huge number of artists, "even Bobby Dylan!" as he puts it.
Glen's third release on Era was the classic Blue Jeans And A Boy's Shirt, and we've included another rare alternate take here (take two), that shows Gary Lambert still working out the nuances of the solo, and an overall looser feel than the 45 version. This take was released with added overdubbed instruments and vocals in 1975, but we've included the raw original track here.
After the classic three Era singles, a fourth single was recorded at Webley Edwards studio in Hawaii (near where Glen and Gary were stationed at Scofield Barracks) and sent to Los Angeles for background overdubbing and mastering. The single, Kitty Kat (written by Glen and Gary's good friend Glenn Mueller), backed with Wait Wait (One Year Longer), never gained release in the 1950s, but has been reissued on numerous compilations over the years. Until now, however, the stereo version has never seen the light of day, in fact no one even knew it existed.
When Gold Star Studios went out of business in the 1980s, a Los Angeles collector came into possession of stacks of Gold Star tapes, mostly commercials, demos, and odd, unreleased things. In that stack of tapes, inexplicably, were true stereo mixes of Kitty Kat and Wait Wait (One Year Longer). Thankfully, these stereo versions have finally seen the light of day on this album release.
Despite having two more single releases on Dore Records in the early 1960s, Glen and Gary never found the chart success they had been searching for at the time (it would take the rockabilly revival and a whole new crop of young fans to revive their careers in the 1980s).
Glen and Gary continued performing into the early 1960s, and the last two songs we've included on this set come from a demo session at Gary Lambert's house in 1963. Both I Think of Somethin' Funny and My Eyes Are Open are great unissued performances that show the changing sound of the West Coast country style during that era. Gary sounds less like Chet Atkins or Merle Travis on these tracks, with more Don Rich and James Burton influence on his playing, and Glen sings with more of the hard country inflection in his voice than he had since the demos they cut in the mid-1950s.
Glen Glenn and Gary Lambert reunited in the 1980s, playing tons of shows in California and at festivals across America and Europe, playing the rockabilly tracks that the kids wanted to hear to an eager young audience of rockabilly fans. The pair performed together through the 1990s. Glen in particular seemed to savor his place in the history of rockabilly and West Coast country music. Fans would seek him out, and Glen would show them tons of his old scrapbook photos, and tell stories about the good old days.
Now, sixty years after they were recorded, Bear Family does it - with a fresh, new album of Glen Glenn rarities. Let's "pick `ern up and lay 'em down!"
Deke Dickerson Northridge, CA October, 2017
Glen Glenn Glen Glenn - Rocks
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/glenn-glen-glen-glenn-rocks.html
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