Glenn Robertson Yarbrough (January 12, 1930 – August 11, 2016) was an American folk singer and guitarist. He was the lead singer (tenor) with the Limeliters from 1959 to 1963. He also had a prolific solo career, recording on various labels.
Yarbrough in 1965
|Birth name||Glenn Robertson Yarbrough|
|Born||January 12, 1930
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Died||August 11, 2016 (aged 86)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Associated acts||The Limeliters|
Yarbrough was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Bruce Yarbrough and Elizabeth Yarbrough (née Robertson). He grew up in New York City where he lived with his mother. After leaving high school, he attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where he roomed with Jac Holzman and began performing after he and Holzman attended a concert by Woody Guthrie.
During the Korean War he served in the United States Army, first as a codebreaker then joined the entertainment corps performing in Korea and Japan. After military service, he moved to South Dakota, helped his father organize square dances, and started appearing on local television shows. By the mid-1950s, he started performing in clubs in Chicago, where he met club owner Albert Grossman and performers including Odetta and Shel Silverstein. One of Elektra Records' first artists, he was one of the first singers to record the traditional "The House of the Rising Sun."
The group's first album, Limeliters, was released in 1960 on Holzman's Elektra label. Yarbrough's lyric tenor voice was well-regarded. Yarbrough left the Limeliters for a solo career in the mid-1960s. His most popular single, and the one for which he is most well-known today is "Baby the Rain Must Fall" (the theme tune from the film of the same name), which entered the Cashbox chart on March 27, 1965 and reached #12 pop and #2 easy listening. According to Chartmasters of Covington, Louisiana, the song was one of the all-time top 100 of the year.
Yarbrough provided vocals for the Rankin/Bass Productions animated versions of The Hobbit (1977) singing songs such as The Greatest Adventure, The Road Goes Ever On as well as The Return of the King (1980) singing "Frodo of the Nine Fingers" in addition to singing the title song in the 1966 holiday classic, The Christmas That Almost Wasn't. Yarbrough also performed Utah Composer Michael McLean's Forgotten Carols, creating a CD of the show as well as taking it on the road to local audiences in the 1990s.
There were several Limeliters reunion albums and tours, billed as Glenn Yarbrough and the Limeliters, from the early 1970s into the 1990s.
Glenn Yarbrough was also an accomplished sailor who owned and lived aboard three different sailboats: Armorel, all teak and still in operation; Jubilee, which Yarbrough 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.
Yarbrough lost his ability to sing due to complications from throat surgery at the age of 80. In his last year or so of life, he suffered from dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other health problems, and was cared for by his daughter Holly in Nashville, Tennessee. Holly recorded the album "Annie Get Your Gun" with her father in 1997.
Yarbrough died from complications of dementia in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 86.
|Year||Album||Billboard 200||Record Label|
|1951||Follow the Drinking Gourd/The Reaper's Ghost||–||Stratford Records|
|1957||Come and Sit by My Side||–||Tradition Records|
|Songs By Glenn Yarbrough a.k.a. Here We Go Baby||–||Elektra Records|
|1958||Marilyn Child and Glenn Yarbrough Sing Folk Songs||–|
|1964||Time to Move On||–||RCA Victor|
|One More Round||142|
|1965||Come Share My Life||112|
|Baby The Rain Must Fall||35|
|It's Gonna Be Fine||75|
|1966||The Lonely Things||61|
|Live at the Hungry I||85|
|1967||Honey and Wine||141|
|The Bitter and the Sweet||–|
|For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her||159|
|1968||Let the World Go By||–|
|We Survived the Madness||–|
|1969||Looking Back||?||Everest Records|
|1969||Each of Us Alone||18||Warner Bros. Records|
|Somehow, Someway; Yarbrough Country||–|
|Glenn Yarbrough Sings the Rod McKuen Songbook||189|
|1970||Let Me Choose Life||–|
|Jubilee; The Best of Glenn Yarbrough||–|
|1971||Bend Down & Touch Me||–|
|1974||My Sweet Lady||–||Stax Records|
|1977||Easy Now||–||Brass Dolphin Records|
|1977||The Hobbit (Rankin/Bass NBC Soundtrack)||–||Buena Vista Records|
|1994||Family Portrait||–||Folk Era Records|
|1995||Christmas with Glenn Yarbrough||–|
|Love for Life||–|
|I Could Have Been a Sailor||–|
|1997||Glenn & Holly Yarbrough Sing Annie Get Your Gun||–|
|2000||Day the Tall Ships Came||–|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Record Label||B-side||Album|
|1957||"Here We Go, Baby"||–||–||Elektra Records||"All My Sorrows"||Songs by Glenn Yarbrough|
|1964||"San Francisco Bay Blues"||–||–||RCA Victor Records||"The Honey Wind Blows"||Time to Move On|
|"Jenny's Gone and I Don't Care"||–||–||"An Acre of Gal to a Foot of Ground"||Let the World Go By|
|1965||"Baby the Rain Must Fall"||12||2||"I've Been to Town"||Baby the Rain Must Fall|
|"It's Gonna Be Fine"||54||9||"She"|
|"Ain't No Way"||–||–||"You Can't Ever Go Home Again"|
|1966||"The Lonely Things"||–||–||"Channing Way 2"||The Lonely Things|
|"Spin Spin"||–||–||"Love Are Wine"|
|1967||"Gently Here Beside Me"||–||–||"Golden Under the Sun"||For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her|
|"Honey and Wine"||–||–||"Ain't You Glad You're Livin', Joe"||Honey and Wine|
|1968||"Times Gone By"||–||–||"Face in the Crowd"||The Bitter and the Sweet|
|"Downtown L.A."||–||–||Warner Bros. Records||"Until You Happened to Pass By"||Let Me Choose Life|
|1969||"Somehow, Someway"||–||–||"Child of the Night Time"|
|"(Don't Let the Sun Shine on You) In Tulsa"||–||–||"Wisconsin"|
|1970||"Jubilee"||–||–||"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"|
|"Goodbye Girl"||–||35||Let Me Choose Life|