Passings: Glenn Yarbrough (1930 - 2016)

by VVN Music

Folk singer Glenn Yarbrough, who was part of the Limeliters and a popular solo artist, died yesterday at his home in Nashville at the age of 86.

Born in Milwaukee, WI, Yarbrough grew up in New York. While attending St. John's College in Annapolis, MD, he roomed with Jac Holzmen and the two soon formed a musical partnership.

After a stint in the Army during the Korean War, Glenn returned to New York where the folk music scene was starting to grow. Holzman contacted Yarbrough to tell him he was starting a new record label, Elektra, and he wanted Glenn to be its first artist.

Even after recording his first album, he moved to South Dakota where he helped his father run a resort. Still performing, he became the host of a local television program.

By the late 50's, Yarbrough had moved to Aspen, Colorado where he bought a club called The Limelite and formed a new folk trio with Alex Hassilev and Lou Gottleib that they named The Limeliters. Holzman signed them to Elektra and released their first, self-titled, album in 1960 but, the next year, they moved on to RCA Records.

While the Limeliters never had a major hit single, their albums sold well with their first for the label, Tonight: In Person, peaking at number 5.

Yarbrough left the Limeliteres in 1963 with the goal of sailing around the world but his dream was put on hold when RCA offered him a solo contract. His first album for the label, Time to Move On, did not chart but One More Round, released later in 1964, reached number 142.

Over the next five years, Yarbrough put a total of ten albums on the Billboard 200 and had a major hit with Baby, The Rain Must Fall (1965 / #12 Pop / #2 Adult Contemporary).

Yarbrough continued recording through 2000 and worked on a number of other projects including providing vocals for the animated version of The Hobbit and The Return of the King. He also worked with Rod McKuen and edited his book Stanyon Street and Other Sorrows.

Six years ago, Glenn had throat surgery which robbed him of his ability to sing. He later developed dementia which eventually took his life.

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