5 Songs You Didn’t Know Tompall Glaser Wrote For Other Artists

Not many country artists can out-outlaw the great Tompall Glaser. A major player in the outlaw country movement alongside peers Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, Glaser never reached their heights, but instead blazed his own trail—as is the way of a true outlier.

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While he spent much of his career on the outskirts of fame, his work in the background still led to plenty of hits.

Here are 5 songs you didn’t know Tompall Glaser wrote for other artists.

1. “A Cowboy Like You” – The Heckels

Written by Tompall Glaser

Well there’s a jukebox in my ear / Playing so loud I can hardly hear / And it’s telling a story / About a boy like you, plays the galloping two-step, “A Cowboy Like You.”

This galloping Glaser classic was first recorded in 1976 by the country trio The Heckels, made up of sisters Susie and Beverly Heckel along with Susie’s husband Denny Franks. The song has gone on to see many re-imaginings, most notably from Reba McEntire in 1994.

2. “Running Gun” – Marty Robbins

Written by Tompall Glaser and Jim Glaser

Many times I sold my fast gun for a place to lay my head / Till the nights began to haunt me by the men that I left dead / Couldn’t stand it any longer with the life that I’d begun / So I said good-bye to Jeannie and became a running gun, goes the song-story, “Running Gun.”

About an outlaw mercenary, the song’s narrative is something straight out of Marty Robbins’ playbook, but “Running Gun” is a Glaser-penned tune. The song was featured on Robbins’ 1959 record, Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.

3. “Five Brothers”- Marty Robbins

Written by Tompall Glaser

Five brothers who left Arkansas / Set out to find the gambler / Who murdered their pa / Five brothers and three in their teens / Gotta find the man / Who killed their pa in New Orleans, echoes the gunslinger ballad “Five Brothers.”

The haunting epic about a group of brothers out for revenge is another song written in the trademark Robbins style. However, it was written by Glaser for Robbins’ 1960 sequel album, More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.

4. “I Don’t Care Anymore” – Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & The Foggy Mountain Boys

Written by Tompall Glaser

I don’t care / I don’t care / I don’t care / I don’t care what you do anymore / You played with my heart / Right from the start / And I don’t care anymore, lilts the rollicking bluegrass tune, “I Don’t Care Anymore.”

Bluegrass legends Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and their Foggy Mountain Boys first recorded this Glaser tune in 1958 which quickly became a standard in the genre.

5. “The Streets of Baltimore” – Bobby Bare

Written by Tompall Glaser and Harlan Howard

I sold the farm to take my woman where she longed to be / We left our kin and all our friends back there in Tennessee / I bought those oneway tickets she had often begged me for / And they took us to the streets of Baltimore, waltzes the Glaser-penned “The Streets of Baltimore.”

The song was first recorded by “Marie Laveau” country artist Bobby Bare in 1966. Glaser would record his own version with his band, The Glaser Brothers, just a few months later. The song has since taken on the styles of so many others, including Gram Parsons and Charley Pride.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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