Glazer, Thomas (Zachariah) 1914-2003 (Tom Glazer)

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GLAZER, Thomas (Zachariah) 1914-2003 (Tom Glazer)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 2, 1914, in Philadelphia, PA; died of complications following a stroke February 21, 2003, in Rochester, NY. Musician, singer, and author. Glazer was a folk singer who was especially well known for his songs for children. Enduring a tough childhood in which he spent time in an orphanage and with various relatives after his father died in 1918, Glazer eventually ended up in New York City, where he found work in Macy's department store, completed his high school education, and for three years attended City College.

His interest in folk music was sparked when he moved to Washington, D.C., and met musicologist Alan Lomax at the Library of Congress, where Glazer had found a job. Lomax was in charge of the Archive of American Folk Song, and his influence on Glazer was profound. Soon, Glazer was teaching himself to play the guitar. He began performing in the early 1940s and was even invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to sing at the White House. Beginning in 1945 he starred in his own radio show, Tom Glazer's Ballad Box, which aired on ABC Radio, and in the 1960s he had another radio show that aired on WQXR in New York City and featured music for children. His success has been credited with helping to popularize folk music during the 1940s through the 1960s. Glazer wrote many of his own songs, some of which were performed by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Perry Como, and the Kingston Trio. One of his children's songs, "On Top of Spaghetti," sung to the tune of "On Top of Old Smokey," became a hit of almost cult status, though it was far from his favorite composition; in a more serious vein, he was the composer of "Melody of Love," which was a number one hit in the United States in 1956, "Till We Two Are One," and "A Worried Man." In addition to writing and recording music, Glazer also penned books, mostly about music and often for children. Some of these include the "All about Your Name" books (ten in all, published in 1978), Tom Glazer's Christmas Songbook (1989), and Tom Glazer's Treasury of Songs for Children (1995).



Chicago Tribune, February 27, 2003, section 3, p. 12.

Independent (London, England), February 27, 2003, p. 20.

Los Angeles Times, February 28, 2003, p. B14.

New York Times, February 26, 2003, p. A25; March 3, 2003, p. A2.

Washington Post, February 27, 2003, p. B5.