While Black influences are inextricably intertwined with the formation of the genre, there is a very short list of Black country performers who made a splash on the national charts or the public consciousness in the 20th century.
After winning the 1974 "Trucker's Jamboree" at the Hollywood Palladium, Inglewood California firefighter Howdy Glenn began a recording career that not only gained him regional hits on an independent label, but found him appearing to rapturous crowds whenever and wherever he performed live.
After singing at the Academy of Country Music's general meeting, he was signed to Warner Bros. Records by Andy Wickham (who had also signed Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Buck Owens, and more). Warner Bros. Released his first Wickham-produced single in 1977. His second, a cover of Willie Nelson's Touch Me, spent six weeks on the charts.
Glenn headlined at Gilley's in Pasadena, Texas, and found himself nominated for the ACM's Top New Male Vocalist award. It appeared as though country music had a possible new star on the rise. But, as happens inexplicably for some artists, after a few singles, and more material left in the can, a new album from "The Singing Fireman" (as he was dubbed by Warner Bros.) never materialized.
I Can Almost See Houston: The Complete Howdy Glenn collects all the recordings and reexamines the importance and legacy of Howdy Glenn, containing all 8 of his singles, plus 6 newly mixed, previously unissued tracks from the Warner Bros. vaults, plus an outtake from his Fire Records sessions. The packaging contains photos, ephemera, and new liner notes outlining not only a brief history of Black artists in country music, but Howdy Glenn's rightful place in the story.
- I Can Almost See Houston
- You'll Remember Me
- Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine
- I'm Here to Drink It All
- Where Did the Years Go
- Has Been Honky Tonk Queen
- Who Makes a Wino's Bed
- Lucy Ain't Your Loser Looking Good
- Don't Take Pretty to the City
- Touch Me
- White Line Fever
- That Lucky Old Sun
- You Mean the World to Me
- When You Were Blue and I Was Green
- Hello Out There
- America (Medley: The Battle Hymn of the Republic/America the Beautiful)
- Cowboys Ain't Supposed to Cry
- Mule Skinner Blues
- You Ought to Hear Me Cry
- Touch Me (Take 4)
- White Line Fever (Take 2)
- Tucson (Alternate Version with Strings)
Tags: I Can Almost See Houston The Complete Howdy Glenn Howdy Glenn