Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jan. 12: Glenn Yarborough "Baby the Rain Must Fall" is 84 today.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Glenn Yarbrough is a folk singer with a distinctive high, clear tenor voice. He was the lead singer with The Limeliters between 1959 and 1963, and followed with a prolific solo career.

In 1957 he was one of the first singers to record the traditional "The House of the Rising Sun" for Elektra Records. Among other career highlights, he sang the title song in the holiday classic, The Christmas That Almost Wasn't in 1966, provided vocals for the Rankin/Bass animated versions of The Hobbit in 1977, and The Return of the King in 1980. He also sang "The Road Goes Ever On" and "Frodo of the Nine Fingers."

Glenn Yarbrough's major hit on single records was "Baby the Rain Must Fall," the theme tune from the film of the same name, which reached #12 pop, #2 easy listening in 1965.

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Glenn Yarbrough - All Time Favorites, Vol. 1


After serving in Korea, Glenn returned home to Greenwich Village where the new folk music scene was beginning. Soon after, an old college friend called because he wanted to start a record label with Glenn as its first artist. Glenn agreed and they decided on a name for the fledgling company-Elektra Records. Glenn’s album was the first for what would become a successful major label.

Glenn soon left New York for South Dakota where his father needed help running a resort. While there, he became the musical host of one of the first local television programs broadcast in the state. But his restlessness led him back to New York then points west.

By the late fifties, Glenn had settled in Aspen, Colorado. He purchased a small nightclub there called the Limelite. Within a year, Glenn met two men who would have a profound influence on his life, Alex Hassilev a baritone, and Lou Gottlieb who sang base. Each had been working as a solo act, but Glenn soon realized that together they possessed a synergy that was magic.

After a short period of perfecting their act, they set off for the "hungry i" in San Francisco, which at the time was the California nerve center for the mushrooming contemporary folk movement. The owner didn't want to put "Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb" up on the marquee, but the group had not yet decided on a name. They chose "The Limeliters" - the name of the Aspen nightclub where they met.

Their success was immediate. Only two days after their professional debut, the group received offers from three recording companies. In early 1959 they released their first album on Elektra. Soon after they signed with RCA Victor and a string of best selling albums followed.

Never having a true chart-topping hit record, they are well known for their repertoire of rousing songs including such as "There's a Meetin' Here Tonight," "City of New Orleans," "A Dollar Down," "Have Some Madeira M'Dear," "Lonesome Traveler," "Wabash Cannonball," "Whiskey in the Jar," and many others which are performed on their more than 25 record albums and in their concerts.

The Limeliters' album, Tonight in Person reached number 5 in the U.S. charts in 1961. Their second album made the top 40, and their third release, The Slightly Fabulous Limeliters, made the top ten in the same year. But their one album with the longest staying power is undoubtedly their album of folk songs for children of all ages, Through Children's Eyes.

The group was active from 1959 until 1965, when they disbanded. Glenn left to fulfill his dream of sailing around the world: Glenn began to prepare his boat for a 10-year sail. But RCA Victor came and asked Glenn to make one album alone. That album, Time To Move On, became a hit and his sailing adventure was put on hold for the time being.

By 1967 he had recorded a long list of successful albums including Baby The Rain Must Fall. Glenn’s success continued, culminating in the mid ‘70’s by a collaboration with Rod McKuen. Rod’s book, Stanyon Streets and Other Sorrows, published and edited by Glenn, became #1 on the best seller’s list. At the same time, Glenn’s recording of The Lonely Things became his biggest album ever.

After a hiatus of sixteen years Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb reunited and began performing as The Limeliters again in the early 1980s.

Glenn Yarbrough is also an accomplished sailor who has owned and lived aboard three different sailboats: Armorel, all teak and still in operation; Jubilee, which Glenn helped build, taking three years; and the Brass Dolphin a Chinese junk design, and has, according to Yarbrough, sailed around the world except for the Indian Ocean.

If you'd like to know more about Glenn, visit his Website at-


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