Thursday, August 18, 2016

Glenn Yarborough Passes On

Folk singer Glenn Yarborough, who had a successful career with both The Limeliters and as a solo artist, died on August 11 2016 at the age of 86.

Glenn Yarborough was born on January 12 1930 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His parents were both social workers. He was still very young when the family moved to New York City. Young Glenn Yarborough sang as a soprano in the choir of Grace Church in Manhattan. After he graduated from high school Mr. Yarborough attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. It was in 1951 that he released his first album, Follow the Drinking Gourd/The Reaper's Ghost, on the minor label Stafford Records. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. He performed as part of Special Services (the entertainment branch of the Army) in both Korea and Japan.

Following the war Glenn Yarborough performed as a solo artist playing coffee clubs throughout the country. He recorded the album Come and Sit by My Side for Tradition Records in 1957 before signing to Elektra Records. His first album for Elektra Records was Songs By Glenn Yarbrough (AKA Here We Go, Baby) in 1957. With Marilyn Child he recorded the album Marilyn Child and Glenn Yarbrough Sing Folk Songs for Elektra in 1958. It was during this period that he became owner of a club the Limelite, an Aspen, Colorado.

It was in 1959 that Glenn Yarborough formed The Limeliters with  Lou Gottlieb and Alex Hassilev, their name taken from Mr. Yarborough's nightclub. Their first album, Limeliters, was released on Elektra in 1960. The Limeliters recorded several albums on the RCA Victor label before Glenn Yarborough left the group in 1963. His first solo album in years, Time to Move On, was released on RCA Victor in 1964. In 1965 he had a major hit with "Baby the Rain Must Fall", which peaked at no. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed by "It's Gonna Be Fine", which peaked at no. 54.

By the early Seventies Glenn Yarborough had become dissatisfied with fame and performing and his output of albums and singles slowed. He spent much of his time in the early Seventies sailing on sailboat the Jubilee. He reunited with The Limeliters in 1974 and the album Reunion - Glenn Yarbrough and The Limeliters was released on Stax Records. He released another solo album in 1974 and one more before the decade of the Seventies ended.

Much of the next few decades Glenn Yarborough spent sailing. He returned to performing once in a while. In 1994 he released his first album since the Seventies, Family Portrait. He recorded several more albums before the end of the decade.

There can be no doubt that Glenn Yarborough had an incredible voice. It was a full rich tenor that gave nearly any song he sung an impact few other singers could.

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