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           Glenn Spencer

(1900 - 1970)

 

 


 

        Tim Spencer's brother, Glenn, has become something of a mystery over the years although his music is still being played and recorded by modern western artists. He was an important extension of the Sons of the Pioneers although he was never a member of the group. Tim and Glenn wrote together and separately for the Pioneers and, from 1937 on, Glenn wrote for the movies. Glenn also wrote the words to the theme for TV's "Gunsmoke", a song called "Old Trail".

        Glenn's "I Belong to the Range", the song you hear as the page opens, was recorded by Dick Foran in 1943.

 


Quick Links:     

Biography by Lois (Chet) Spencer

Victor Spencer's Recollections of the Sons of the Pioneers

Chester Spencer's Recollections of his Father

Western Music Association Award

Copyright information

Glenn Spencer singing "The Lord's Prayer"

Gunsmoke

More photos from Lois

Sheet music, other information, etc.

    • Blue Bonnet Girl

    • Bonnie Dundee

    • Car Hop Song

    • The Crossroads

    • The Drummer's Serenade

    • Following Him

    • The Girl I Left Behind

    • Gunsmoke

    • Gunsmoke Trail

    • I'd Like to Been There

    • If Wishes were Pennies

    • Invocation (To a White Cross) recorded as "Little White Cross"

    • A Long, Long Time (by Rachel Spencer)

    • Love at the County Fair

    • Old Trail

    • Santa Fe, New Mexico (cover only)

    • Song of the Prodigal

    • To All Generations (The Words from Psalm 100)

    • There is a Light (lead sheet)

Song list

Iron Eyes Cody

 


 

Glenn Spencer: A Biography by Lois Spencer

 

My dad died when I was 12 and, when I married Chet, Glenn said that not only did I have a husband, I gained a father. He was a father to me from that moment until he died. I miss him still.  It has been a joy to compile this story.

 

Glenn Joseph Spencer was born to Edgar and Laura Alice Spencer on August 16, 1900 in Webb City, Missouri.  Glenn died in Simi Valley California December 19, 1970. There were eight boys and two girls in the Spencer family. The girls' were Eva and Buniece. The boys were Raymond, Forbes, Leo, Glenn, Ociola, Vern (Tim), Kenneth, and Dean.  It was a very musical family. Their dad, Edgar was a musician. The brothers sang at church socials and civic events.  Glenn played the violin and piano and sang.

 

Spencer Brothers 1932 Vaudeville Act

Standing: Kenneth and Forbes

Front: Deane, Tim (Vernon) and Glenn

 

This is a Xerox copy that I scanned. It is pretty old. What it shows is the Spencer Bros. dressed for their vaudeville act. The person who owned these is long gone to heaven. It was Uncle Ray's. I don't know what cousin might still have the book it came from. The photo was taken in 1932. Standing Kenneth and Forbes. In front Dean, Tim (Vernon) and Glenn. Before I saw this I was unable to prove that they had an act.

 

The stories of Tim (one of the original members of the Sons of the Pioneers) and Glenn Spencer are closely intertwined.   The brothers worked closely together for all of their adult life. The entire family stayed close with most of them ending up in Long Beach, California. Several of the brothers owned a hardware and paint store called “Spencer Brothers”.

 

The family got together occasionally for picnics.  Because of the size of the family the picnics often took place at a park in Long Beach.  There often were over 200 family members there.

 

Many people have asked how Glenn received the injury to his hand that was rumored to have kept him from a career as a classical pianist.  Here is the story as it was told to me by Glenn. When Glenn and Tim were kids, Tim was playing with a lit dynamite cap from one of the nearby mines.  Glenn, who was the older brother. rushed to grab it from Tim and throw it away from them.  Before he could dispose of it, the cap exploded in his right hand and he lost the tip of his index finger and thumb.

 

Glenn met Wanda Ruth Mott in Picher, Oklahoma.  She was the daughter of John and Emma Mott.  John owned a grocery store in Picher and he was also the minister of a small church.  Wanda played the piano in the church and she and Glenn met there.  Wanda and Glenn were married in Miami, Oklahoma, on August 12 1924.  Glenn was 23 and Wanda was 18.  Wanda’s best friend Jewel married Glen’s brother, Ciola.  They also eventually moved to California. In 1924 Wanda accompanied the Spencer brother, Glenn, Tim and Ciola as they sang on their very first radio broadcast from Joplin, Missouri.

 

Glenn’s movements back and forth between Picher, Oklahoma and Los Angeles were punctuated by the birth of his nine children. They showed the clear pattern of movement between the two states.  The migration of the family took place against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the exodus from Oklahoma and the surrounding states due to an extended drought and the Dust Bowl.   Glenn and Wanda had a large family.  There are nine children.  Seven boys and two girls: Jean, Paul, Bob, Vic, Rachel, Chet, Glenn Jr., Dick and Jim. All of his children are still living.  The older three children were born in Oklahoma.  Victor was born in California.  Rachel and Chet were born in Picher when the family returned to Oklahoma.  The family moved backed to Los Angeles when Chet was seven months old.  Glenn, Dick and Jim were born in Los Angeles.  All the children are still living.

 

Vic Spencer, Chet's older brother visited us and I asked him if he had any good stories about Bob Nolan. He proceeded to tell me this story. All the cousins were at Tim's house swimming. Tim lived in the San Fernando Valley and was the only family member with a pool. Raylene, Tim's oldest daughter couldn't swim. She fell in and started screaming that she couldn't swim! Vic remembers Bob jumping in cowboy boots, cowboy outfit and all and pulling her out to safety. The kids always said Bob saved her life.

 

Their house in Hollywood on Ardmore was a lively place.  It was a two-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow.  Imagine getting all of those kids off to school!  They loved the summertime when Tim’s children, Loretta and Harold, came to stay overnight.

 

 

This is a current photo of Glenn's home in Hollywood on Ardmore where he lived when the kids were young.  The boys have told me many stories of the Pioneers practicing there. They have fond memories of Bob Nolan from that time when  Glenn did music arrangements for the Sons of the Pioneers. All of the children remember various times when the Sons of The Pioneers practiced here. 

 

                   Chet Spencer Remembers:

 

I was born on March 13, 1935, in the bedroom of a small wooden house on the outskirts of Picher, Oklahoma. My brother, Victor, who was four years old at that time, told me that a man arrived at the house carrying a black bag. All of the children were told to go outside and play. A short time later the children were invited back into the house. Victor heard a baby crying and asked where it came from. The man said he brought it in the black bag. Victor believed him.

            About a month later, our father borrowed a 2 door Ford Model A sedan, loaded us in and headed for California. It took about two days of steady driving to complete the trip. Victor said we stopped one time for a few hours so Dad could sleep. We moved into a small place on 77th Street in the Watts area. In 1938, our Mom rode public transportation to Hollywood and rented a house at 846 N. Ardmore Ave. My brothers Bob and Paul and Vic did odd jobs to earn money. They mowed lawns and sold newspapers on the street corners. Finally, they got bicycle routes delivering the LA Times.

            Dad got a used upright piano and played it every day. He was a natural musician and a poet. A steady stream of musicians and singers visited our house. When I was ten, Bob and Vic got me a 100-paper LA Times route near our Hollywood neighborhood. I had to get up at 4 am every morning to fold and deliver my papers. Most mornings I would see Dad sitting at his piano composing or arranging music. Rough drafts of sheet music were lying on the floor or on the table next to him.  He nodded hello as I came in but he just kept working. When I got back a couple of hours later he would be sitting at the dining room table copying his rough draft notes to beautifully finished sheet music. The musical notes and lyrics looked like they had been done by a machine. I was amazed at my dad's natural talent.

            When I was attending LeConte Jr High School in Hollywood, I was elected 9th grade President. One of my primary responsibilities was to serve as Student council President. At my suggestion, the Council voted to have music played in the quad during lunch break. Paul Howard, son of Moe Howard (one of the Three Stooges) and I would play the music over the sound system. I made sure that Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers were on the playlist every day.

            When I turned 16, I got my driver's license and bought myself a '37 Ford 2-door sedan for $50. Dad was working with Uncle Tim at Manna Music in the Cross Roads of the World Center on Sunset Blvd, not far from Hollywood High School where I was a student. Mom would often ask me to drop things off to Dad when he was at work.

            One day when I was visiting Dad, a popular local TV personality named Red Rowe walked in and said, "Howdy, Glenn. I wrote a song. Would you put it on paper for me?" Dad had Red sit down on a chair with his guitar. Dad sat at a table across from him with a notepad. Red played guitar and sang while Dad made notes. Dad made musical arrangements of the lyrics and guitar chords while consulting with Red for about 10 to 15 minutes. Dad then pulled out a clean piece of sheet music and proceeded to put the music and lyrics to paper. In about 30 minutes, Dad gave Red a perfectly completed copy of his song, ready for print. Dad had a natural talent to hear music played, transcribe it and add the arrangement of the chords.

 

    While Glenn worked at many different jobs in his lifetime, he always described himself as a Composer and Arranger.  Music was his passion.  It has been noted by many family members that when he was driving, the car always lurched forward.  It was the family’s contention that he was tapping his foot on the accelerator in time to the music playing in his head. His son, Chet, had an early morning paper route and recalls getting up early and finding his dad at 4:00 am sitting at his piano writing songs and doing arrangements. Glenn worked for "Spencer Brothers" in Long Beach for a time.

    He was a machinist by trade and while in Picher worked in the Mines. He also worked as a machinist in Hollywood and for a time worked at Lambert Paints. He also worked as a “Dollar a Year Man” at Lockheed during WWII.  This essentially meant that he volunteered his services as a machinist to the War effort. When he first came to LA, Glenn worked in the Federal Music Project and sang in the chorus of the Opera, Mikado. His son Paul attended one of the performances. The Federal Music Project was a government-funded project to keep Music artists employed during the Depression. He also worked for Safeway during that time.

 

His son Jim, the youngest, spent many happy hours with his dad while Glenn helped local Hollywood church choirs with their musical arrangements. The following are some of Jim's memories:

"Spencer Brothers Equipment and Supply was owned by Ray and, at one time or  another, most of the brothers worked there. Dad also worked at  Lambert Co. LTD. It was a very large store with a lot of warehouse space. Dad worked in the Paint Department. I remember that people would bring in paint samples in the form of paint chips, pieces of wood, etc. Dad had the knack of being able to mix colors to come up with an exact match. I know this because I, on occasion, worked there, too. 

"Dad Worked on The Dr. Pepper show, the 10-2-4 Ranch, on radio. Glenn Jr. still has the transcriptions of the show. Some of the shows are also available on the net. Dad was also involved with The Beverly Hillbillies on radio. When CBS was about to release the TV series, they first had to deal with dad and the radio show cast. My understanding is that dad copywrited the name "Beverly Hillbillies". Dad was in the control room at CBS radio with Ken Darby (whom he worked with a lot on Choirs) on December 7,1941, when word of the [Pearl Harbor] attack came in.

"Dad had the ability to listen to a large group of singers and polish their abilities. I watched him do that once. He moved the singers around until the voices were blended. He next worked on their enunciation. He started out with a group that you could not understand and ended with a group that sounded almost as one. It, of course, took more than one session, but I saw the finished product later. This is what he did when he worked with Ken Darby.

"One day I came home from Hollywood High and George Montgomery was in our livingroom. Dad was playing piano and Mr. Montgomery was doing scales. At this time Variety Shows were very popular. I found out later that Mr. Montgomery's wife, Dinah Shore, wanted him to make an appearance. Dad was working with him to find a song or songs he could sing without sounding like a fool. Dad did so, and did the same thing for others. I met Johnny Western who sang the theme to "Have Gun Will Travel" in our living room on Carlos Ave.

"I remember living  in a duplex apartment in Long Beach (mom, dad and I). I had gone from having a large family to being alone most of the time. Suddenly, in my first week in high school, things changed. We moved back to Hollywood and I went to Hollywood High. Later I was to find out that "Gunsmoke" caused the change. The royalties were enough to change our lives."

 

Laura Hogan Spencer, mother of Tim and Glenn, at the grave of her husband, Edgar.

May 30, 1942.
 

(Calin Coburn Collection)

 

This Dr. Pepper fanzine contains a rare photo of Glenn at the piano. The caption under it reads:

 

HE TEACHES TUNES FANCY TRICKS - Glenn Spencer, music arranger, takes tunes that are "plain vanilla" and gives them that "something added," to make 'em sparkle like a gay dessert with classy trimmings. He's never seen nor heard, but he's highly important to fine music.

 

p. 23, Hear My Song by Ken Griffis, 1974

 

p. 27, Hear My Song by Ken Griffis, 1974

 

We have listed Glenn's music along with others he co-wrote with his brother Tim.  He [and Tim] wrote a song called “Roses” which was recorded by Billy Eckstine and Jim Reeves.  It was popular when Chet was at Le Conte Junior High School. He was President of the Student body and President of the Student Council and helped choose the music played over the public address system during lunch and loved playing the version by Billy Eckstein.  The proof of the enduring quality of Glenn’s music is that both versions are available on iTunes today.

 

He also wrote chorale music, some of which has been sung in the Hollywood Bowl. Glenn also wrote music for TV and movies. 

 

 

1943

Back: Hugh Farr, Ken Carson, Tim & Glenn Spencer, ??, Bob Nolan, Pat Brady
Seated: the only one I recognize there is Velma Spencer on the right.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Spencer Osborne

 

You can see Glenn fourth from the left, next to Uncle Tim. As far as anyone remembers, this picture was taken in a Mexican restaurant that they went to often, "Casa Toluca" in Toluca Lake, not far from Warner Bros.

 

Glenn and Wanda Spencer at Hollywood Presbyterian Church.

 

  This photo is taken in the '50s.  A rare one with all of the family members present. 

Standing: Vic, Bob, Jean and Paul.
On the couch: Rachel, Wanda, Glenn and Chet

Front row: Jim, Dick and Glenn Jr.

 

Lois, Glenn and Wanda 1958

 

Wanda and Glenn 1968

 

        Glenn used to sit at the piano and play random things. One of the things I loved was his boogie woogie. I don't know if Epidemic was a current song or just something in his head and heart. That song brought back a lot of good memories. It brings a smile to my face every time I play it because I can see Glenn in my mind's eye sitting at this piano with a little smile on his face.

        In the following three songs, Glenn and his daughter Rachel were singing at the wedding of Don & Marge Spencer. Glenn was 57 at the time and he still had amazing control over the high notes. Both Glenn and Rachel had trained voices. As we discussed previously, Glenn sang in the Opera in Los Angeles. Uncle Tim and Glenn paid for Rachel's voice lessons. She sang at my wedding. This is the only recording that I have found of Glenn singing. (These songs appear here courtesy of Rachel.)

 

Whither Thou Goest sung by Rachel Spencer

I Love You sung by Rachel Spencer

The Lord's Prayer sung by Glenn Spencer

 

 


 

Songs written or co-written by GLENN SPENCER (from the BMI and ASCAP lists)

 

Key: G = Glenn Spencer, T = Tim Spencer, G/T = Glenn Spencer with Tim.

 

AMERICA FOREVER       G             
AND A BUTTERFLY BRAIN   G/T 
APACHE ROSE CUES           
BABY I AIN T GONNA CRY NO MORE   G/T      
BENEATH A UTAH SKY   G              
BLOW WIND BLOW   G                  
BLUE BONNET GIRL G                  
BLUE EYES      G/T                                               
BLUE MOUNTAIN SWEETHEART   G        
BOUND FOR THE ROLLING RANGE G       
CATTLE CALL RONDOLET     G          
CHEROKEE STRIP   G/T                    
CHRISTMAS COWBOY   G/T (& Red Rowe)                
COME AND GET IT     G/T                 
COWBOY S SWEETHEART A   G/T             
DADDY S LITTLE COWBOY   G/T (R Rowe)          
DO YOU LOVE ME HUH    G/T               
DON JUAN    G/T                         
DOWN THE TRAIL  G/T                     
ECHO VALLEY   G
EPIDEMIC G                     
FINE PRINT     G (& Sam Allen)                    
FRIENDLY LITTLE COWTOWN
GHOST TOWN JAMBOREE   G             
GOD BLESS MY DARLING  G/T               
GOLDEN MEMORIES    G                
GRASSHOPPER HEART  G/T 
GUNSMOKE                  
HEADIN FOR THE VALLEY OF TOMORROW G/etc    
HI HO LITTLE DOGIES    G            
HILL COUNTRY     G                  
HONOLULU BOOGIE  G/T                    
I BELONG TO THE RANGE  G            
I LL GO TO WORK AND CRY  G/T            
I LOVE THE PRAIRIE COUNTRY   G      
I M GONNA SEE MY GAL IN TENNESSEE G/T/Rowe 
I M LOST WITHOUT YOU   G            
I M TOO YOUNG TO DIE   G/T              
I PAID MY TAXES IN TEXAS    G (Lestrang)       
IF YOU RE LOVABLE  G/T                  
IN A FRIENDLY LITTLE COW TOWN   G   
IT S A COWBOY LIFE FOR ME   G       
JUBILATION JAMBOREE G
LET NOT ONE BE LOST     G           
LET S FOLLOW THE TRAIL TO THE   G   
LET S SAIL AWAY TO HEAVEN   G/T         
LITTLE WHITE CROSS 
LITTLE WHITE CROSS ON A HILL 
LONG ABOUT SUNDOWN    G/T               
LOVE AT THE COUNTY FAIR  G/T           
MAN FROM RAINBOW VALLEY CUES
MEAN AGE IN BETWEEN AGE BLUES
MIDNIGHT TRAIN OF LONESOME VALLEY   G  
MIGHTY ROCK G
MISSION BELLS OF SAN FERNANDO    G  
MOONLIGHT MELODY   G             
MY DARLIN FROM NASHVILLE TENNESSEE  G/T     
MY MADONNA OF THE TRAIL    G (OTHERS)        
MY PAN AMERICAN PLAN   G (R Lestrang)            
MY SECRET WISH   G                  
MY SWEET WILD FLOWER   G/T/Rowe            
MY WISH FOR YOU 
NEW CHISHOLM TRAIL THE     G        
NEXT DOOR TO HEAVEN      G          
NIGHTTIME IN NEVADA CUES
OLD TRAIL g (w. Koury) 
ONE LOVE  G                         
PLEASE DON T BE UNFAIR     G (w Wilkins)        
PRAIRIE SINGS A LULLABY THE   G     
PRETTY PLEASE LOVE ME    G (w Sam Allen)          
RED LIPS WALTZ     G/T  (w OTHERS)                
RIGHT FROM MY HEART G (w OTHERS)               
RODEO JOE  G                        
ROLL ALONG LITTLE OLE BUCKSKIN   G  
ROLL ON WITH THE TEXAS EXPRESS    G/T   
ROSES     G/T                           
SAGEBRUSH SYMPHONY  G               
SANTA FE NEW MEXICO    G            
SANTA MONICA BALLROOM DANCE   G/T       
SLEEPY HILLS   G                    
SO LONG TO THE RED RIVER VALLEY  G   
SONG OF THE PRODIGAL G
STEPPIN OUT     G/T  (wMcDonald)                   
SURELY I CAN BELIEVE 
SWANNEE RHYTHM  G                   
SWEET HEARTACHE  G/T                    
TAKE YOUR TIME 
TIME NOR TIDE     G (w Wilkins)                 
TUMBLIN ON 
TUMBLEWEED CHRISTMAS TREE 
UKULELE POLKA   G/T                     
WALTZ OF THE ROSES THE  G/T             
WE RE HEADIN FOR THE HOME CORRAL G/T      
WEST OF THE PECOS   G               
WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS G /T/Rowe    
WHEN I SAID GOODBYE TO YOU  G       
WHEN THE PRAIRIE SUN CLIMBS OUT OF THE HAY   G/T    
WHEN WE GET OLD AND GRAY   G        
WIGWAM SONG THE   G                 
WITH SOMEONE LIKE YOU    G          
YIPPI YI YIPPI YO  (aka "Born to the Saddle") G               
YIPPI YI YOUR TROUBLES AWAY  G/T          


 

 

 

The Gunsmoke Theme: "Gunsmoke Trail" (Old Trail)

 

The music was written by Rex Koury as thematic material, but Hollywood music publisher Max Herman saw its possibilities as a song. His friend, Glenn Spencer, supplied words for the theme. Originally published under the title "Old Trail," the song was written for the CBS radio show "Gunsmoke," which aired for the first time in the spring of 1952. When the popular radio show moved to television in 1955, the title of the theme song was changed to "Gunsmoke", lines were altered or rearranged and eighth notes were inserted to accommodate the added syllable required when the words "Old Trail" were replaced by "Gunsmoke trail."  The TV show ran from 1955 to 1975. (p. 287 "For a Cowboy Has to Sing" by Jim Bob Tinsley.)

 

Gunsmoke Trail sung by Tex Ritter, 1955

Old Trail sung by Ken Curtis

Old Trail demo sung by Ronnie Deauville, big band singer.

 

A beautiful rendition of this song was recorded more recently by Don Edwards on a Rich O’Brien CD accompanied by Rich on the guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Variety of Sheet Music and Lead Sheets

 

Bonnie Dundee

 

Car Hop Song

 

 

The Crossroads

 

 

The Drummer's Serenade

 

 

Following Him

 

The Girl I Left Behind Me

 

 

I'd Like to Been There

 

 

If Wishes were Pennies

 

A Long, Long Time

 

 

Love at the County Fair

 

 

 

 

 

Love at the County Fair by the Sons of the Pioneers featuring a solo by Lloyd Perryman with Dale Evans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song of the Prodigal with Bob Nolan & the Sons of the Pioneers

 

 

 

 

 

"Little White Cross" (Invocation) sung by Ken Curtis & The Sons of the Pioneers

 

 

 

        Glenn gave this letter and 45 record to my daughter, Kathy Spencer LeClair, before he passed away. She spent a lot of time with him during that last year when he was battling cancer. (Lois Spencer)

 

 

 

Santa Fe, New Mexico sung by The Sons of the Pioneers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Bonnet Girl (including all the words)

Courtesy of Barton Clark

 

Courtesy of Barton Clark

 

Courtesy of Barton Clark

 

"Blue Bonnet Girl" from Song of Texas (1943)

 

 

 

Copyright information courtesy of Laurence Zwisohn. (Co-writers are on the right.)

 

Blue Bonnet Girl 5/1/36

My Madonna of the Trail  (m) 9/21/37 Leo Spencer (m) - Harry MacPherson (w)

Democracy Forever 4/2/41 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Aloha Moon 7/17/41 Ida Clarice Gowan

Headin’ for the Valley of Tomorrow 3/26/42 Ekko Whelan

There’s Only One Love for Me 3/26/42, 10/16/44 Ekko Whelan

Cherokee Strip 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

Come and Get It 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

A Cowboy’s Sweetheart 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

Don Juan 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

Down the Trail 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

‘Long About Sundown 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

Roll On With the Texas Express 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

We’re Headin’ for the Home Corral 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

When the Prairie Sun Climbs Out of the Hay 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

Yippi Yi Your Troubles Away 5/31/43 Tim Spencer

There’s Only One Love for Me 10/16/44 Ekko Whelan

Wigwam Song (Wug Wug) 12/1/44

Please Don’t Be Unfair 8/6/45 Charlie Wilkins aka Nat Vincent

Time Nor Tide 8/6/45, 12/30/48 Charlie Wilkins aka Nat Vincent

Invocation: To a White Cross 12/30/46 Ivan Ditmars

The Midnight Train (of Lonesome Valley)10/21/47

Time Nor Tide 12/30/48 Charlie Wilkins

Rockin’ Horse Rodeo  (w) 8/10/49 Don George  (m)

Santa Fe, New Mexico 12/28/49

Love at the County Fair 1/17/50,2/23/50 Tim Spencer

Roses 1/30/50, 4/10/50, 4/18/50 Tim Spencer

Jesus, Wonderful Jesus (based on Roses) 4/10/50, 8/10/54 Tim Spencer

Pretty Please, Love Me 5/18/50 Sam Allen

Red Lips Waltz    (English lyric) 2/17/50, 6/16/50 Dutch lyric: Henry d’Albert - 

        music: Eddy Christiani - Frans Poptie - English lyric: Tim Spencer

I Ain’t Gonna Cry No More 8/28/50, 1/27/51 Tim Spencer  

Let’s Sail Away to Heaven 8/28/50 Tim Spencer

Baby I Ain’t Gonna Cry No More 10/3/50, 1/27/51 Tim Spencer

Honolulu Boogie 10/3/50 Tim Spencer

A Grasshopper Heart and a Butterfly Brain 1/26/51, 2/21/51 Tim Spencer

Baby I Ain’t Gonna Cry No More 1/27/51 Tim Spencer 

America Forever 5/18/51 Tim Spencer

Daddy’s Little Cowboy 5/21/51, 5/19/52 Tim Spencer - Red Rowe

Little White Cross (An Invocation)  (w) 5/28/51 Tim Spencer  (w) - Ivan Ditmars  (m)

My Sweet Wild Flower 1/24/52 Tim Spencer - Red Rowe

The Waltz of the Roses 1/24/52 Tim Spencer

Daddy’s Little Cowboy 5/19/52 Tim Spencer - Red Rowe

Steppin’ Out 5/19/52 Tim Spencer - Colin MacDonald

Paper Flowers 12/19/52 Red Rowe

I Gotta Go 1/12/53

Love Don’t Ever Bother Me 1/12/53

Old Trail  (w)  (previously 1/12/53, 9/15/53 published as Gunsmoke)

Gunsmoke  (w)  (previously published as Old Trail) 1/28/53, 9/15/53,  10/1/53 Rex Koury  (m)

Elizabeth 6/18/53

Mean Age In Between Age Blues 9/11/53, 11/3/53 Jack Rollins

Idaho Red 1/8/54 Frank Kauzlaric - Larry Sullivan

Jesus, Wonderful Jesus  (based on Roses) 8/12/54 Tim Spencer

When You’re Making Love to Me 10/27/54, 12/23/54 Nat Vincent

The Tumbleweed Christmas Tree 11/5/54

Come What May 11/15/54

You’re So Lovable and 

You Must Be Loved  (m) 12/14/54 Virginia Richmond  (w)

Say a Prayer for Me 1/10/55

Seruban 1/14/55

Eavesdropping 2/14/55

My Wish for You 2/14/55

Everything 2/21/55

The Master’s Voice 2/24/55

Epidemic 3/15/55

Mighty Rock 5/13/55

Satisfied 5/15/55

Beneath a Utah Sky 5/16/55

Blue Mountain Sweetheart 5/16/55

Cattle Call Rondolet 5/16/55

Friendly Little Cowtown 5/16/55

Hi Ho Little Doggies 5/16/55

If Someone Told You a Story  (w) 5/16/55 Rex Koury  (m)

I’m Glad the Roundup’s Over 5/16/55

Jubilation Jamboree 5/16/55

Prairie Lullaby 5/16/55

So Close to You 5/16/55 Virginia Richmond

Sunset Serenade 5/16/55

Supposing 5/16/55 Virginia Richmond

Take Your Time 5/16/55

West of the Pecos 5/16/55

When We Get Old and Gray 5/16/55

With Someone Like You 5/16/55

You, Just You 5/16/55

Lonesome Cowboy 6/16/55

Blow Wind, Blow 7/11/55

Blue Rain Drops 7/11/55 Dick Hakins

I Belong to the Range 7/11/55

Montana Moon 7/11/55

Funny Money 7/15/55

Careless Kisses 7/28/55 Virginia Richmond

Ghost Town Jamboree 7/28/55

Huckleberry Dumplin’s 7/28/55 Virginia Richmond

Pretty Little Stinker 7/28/55 Virginia Richmond

When I Grow Up 7/28/55 Virginia Richmond

Eliza 8/29/55 Virginia Richmond

Christmas Cowboy (based on Daddy’s Little Cowboy) 10/13/55 Tim Spencer - Red Rowe

Boy, Boy, Boy 12/5/55 Virginia Richmond

Cuddle-Buggin’ Fever 12/5/55 Virginia Richmond

Hep-Cap Hi Ho 12/5/55 Virginia Richmond

Let Me In 12/5/55 Virginia Richmond

My Johnny 12/5/55 Virginia Richmond

One Hotfoot Muchacha 12/5/55 Virginia Richmond

One White Lie 12/5/55 Virginia Richmond

Bonnie Dundee 3/22/56 Tim Spencer   ?????

The Wanderer 3/22/56 Tim Spencer  ???

Song of the Prodigal 4/5/56 Tim Spencer

Pretty Car Hop 5/2/58 Richard Talbot Hakins

The Girl I Left Behind 9/25/58 Richard T. Hakins

Caroline 3/22/61

Crossroads 7/11/61

Children’s Prayer 7/28/61

To All Generations  (from Psalm 100) 7/28/61, 12/4/61

Surely, I Can Believe 8/3/61, 12/4/61

Following Him 8/25/61

There is a Light 11/27/61

Blue Rain Drops 6/23/76 Richard T. Hakins
 

also:

 

Hill Country /40 (film)

So Long to the Red River Valley /40 (film)

When Romance Rides the Range /42 (film)

 

More Photos from Lois:

1955 Christmas (photo courtesy of Rachel and Lois)

 

BACK ROW
GLENN JR., EMMA MOTT (WANDAS MOM), GLENN SR. AND WANDA, JEAN, LYNN, LAVONNE HOLDING GAIL, CHET, VIC HOLDING DEBBIE, DIANA HOLDING GARY

SEATED
PAT, RACHEL, PAUL HOLDING JILL, VELMA, LORETTA  AND TIM

IN FRONT
LYNDA, JIM, DARRYL, ___________ JIMMEY, CARRIE, RICKY AND BOBBY

 

 

Left to right: Buniece, Tim, Ceola, Forbes, Ray, Glenn, Kenney, Dean and Eva. There was nothing written on the back so we have no idea when the photo was taken or why their mother (Laura Hogan Spencer) she was in bed. Note that every one is smiling. Ceola was married to Jewel who is Wanda's best friend from her childhood in Picher. Leo is missing from this photo.

 

    

Glenn at a Forest Home period costume party.

 

Glenn in top hat. The period costumes are from different wars. Glenn's song "Invocation"
was being recited for a Memorial Day celebration. We do that here on
May 30th. It used to be called Remembrance Day.

 

Back, far left: Tim Spencer

Back far right: Jimmy Dodd of the Mickey Mouse Club

Bottom right: Glenn Spencer with Dr. Louis Evans Sr. (Hollywood Presbyterian Church) behind him.
 

 

Glenn (right) at work when he worked for Lambert Paint Company.

 

In Glenn's livingroom in Hollywood where he composed most of his songs.

 

    Glenn has a mustache and is in second row from the back with Wanda on the right. She has her back to the camera and is slightly turned. Bob Nolan and P'Nuts at this end.

 

Song of Nevada cast.

 

 

    When Jim was a young boy, Glenn took him to Dale and Roy's ranch in the San Fernando Valley in California. They autographed the picture for him. He found it at Glenn and Wanda's one day amongst old photographs.

    He was very surprised when they went out to the corral and he found out that there was more than one Trigger.
 

 

Iron Eyes Cody (from Lois's photo collection)

 

        My hubby, Chet, was an area Commander with the Los Angeles Police Department and Iron Eyes was the guest speaker at the LAPD BAR B QUE. Because he was a family friend, we picked him up and brought him with his. He wasn't driving at this point. I have an elk's tooth he gave me. Iron Eyes always wore one under his wig.

        At the time of these photos, his wife had been dead for a little under a year and Iron Eyes was still in mourning for her. He had a small museum downstairs and we were unable to see it that day because he was observing a year of mourning in her honor. Bertie was a curator at the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles.

 

Lois Spencer and her daughter, Missey, with Iron Eyes Cody at a picnic in Elysian Park in LA  This was taken in the late 70's.

 

His topic was "Keeping America Beautiful". He was a very active environmentalist.

 

Iron Eyes Cody and Sandy Red Cloud, biographer

 

Iron Eyes Cody and Eleanor Duffy.

 

 

Left to right: Esther Vernon, Sandy Red Cloud, Iron Eyes Cody, Lois Spencer, Eleanor Duffy and Bob Vernon.

 

    My dad was an electrician and worked at PRC and Eagle Lion movie studios where he met Iron Eyes. My dad was also a boy scout District Commissioner and he talked Iron Eyes into helping with the Scouts. He became an advisor to the Order of the Arrow. My oldest brother Dwight was already in the Order of the Arrow and he had the honor of inducting Iron Eyes. Iron Eyes taught both of my brothers to do Indian dances and to drum. At the time Bob, my dad and Iron Eyes were working in Hollywood it was a small town. Not like today. Back then everyone knew each other.
 

 

Glenn Spencer

 

Glenn Spencer (1969)

 

p. 37, The Western Way Vol.24, Issue 4, Fall 2014

 

 

The Western Music Association Award to Glenn Spencer, Nov 17, 2014

 

Lois Spencer receiving the award in honour of her father-in-law, Glenn Spencer

 

 

Back row: Cort Ofstad, Michael Spencer, Julie Spencer, Hal Spencer.

Second row: Melissa Spencer Williams, Richard Spencer, Lynda Ofstad, Suze Spencer Marshall

(The hat visible behind Suze belongs to James M. Spencer)

Front row left to right: Chet Spencer, Lois Spencer, Joan Spencer, Brook Spencer (kneeling)

 

 

 

2014 WMA Hall of Fame Award

(courtesy of westernmusic.org)

 

Glenn Spencer

        Glenn Spencer co-composed a number of Western standards with his younger brother Tim, e.g. “That Pioneer Mother of Mine,” “We’re Headin’ for the Home Corral,” “When the Prairie Sun Climbs Out of the Hay,” “Yippi-Yi Your Troubles Away,” “The Cherokee Strip,” “Down the Trail,” “Long About Sundown, “Moonlight Melody,” “The Prairie Sings a Lullaby,” etc. These, along with the following 10 compositions he wrote alone, assured him a prominent place in Western Music history: “Blue Bonnet Girl,” “Hill Country,” “Yippi-Yi,

Yippi-Yo (Born to the Saddle),” “I Love the Prairie Country,” “I Belong to the Range,” “Santa Fe, New Mexico,” “So Long to the Red River Valley,” Sagebrush Symphony,” Blow Wind Blow,” and “It’s a Cowboy’s Life For Me.” He wrote many more, but these may be         considered the cream of the crop.

        Most of Glenn’s songs were composed in the 1930s for the Sons of the Pioneers to sing on movie soundtracks, radio transcriptions and commercial recordings. Some, like “Santa Fe, New Mexico,” were recorded in the 1940s. One in particular, “Gunsmoke Trail,” the theme from television’s Gunsmoke, for which Spencer wrote the lyrics became well-known later. Tex Ritter, Ken Curtis and Don Edwards recorded Glenn’s version of this classic TV theme.

        Spencer’s early songs were not recorded by the Sons of the Pioneers alone. In fact, some authorities consider the 1952 Capitol recording of “Blue Bonnet Girl” by Andy Parker & The Plainsmen to be the definitive version of that great song. And in more recent years, Glenn Spencer’s compositions have been kept alive through commercial recordings and transcriptions by the Sons of the San Joaquin, Riders In

The Sky, Tex Ritter, the Reinsmen, Don Denning, Dick Foran, The Cass County Boys, Gene Autry, Don Edwards, Ken Curtis, Robert Wagoner and others.

        Starting in Missouri, where Glenn was born on August 16th 1900, the Spencer family homesteaded in New Mexico and spent time in Oklahoma with Glenn later winding up in California. When little brother Tim Spencer moved to California, he first moved in with Glenn who was already settled there. Earlier, Glenn and Tim had enjoyed exploring old trails in New Mexico. In those years, there were still ruts left by the pioneer wagons heading West in the 1800s and the Spencer land was close to the Santa Fe Trail. The imagery inspired by these childhood memories was eventually reflected in their song lyrics.

        While best known for his compositions, Glenn Spencer's musical talent was not limited to songwriting. He was a violinist and a pianist but a tragic accident that occurred when he was trying to protect young Tim from a dynamite cap he was playing with limited his ability to perform from that point on. However, he was still able to play and compose music on the piano and could hear a melody, then sit down and write sheet music for it.

        He also had a fine singing voice and, with four of his brothers including Tim, formed a vaudeville singing group in the 1920s, early 30s called The Spencer Brothers. Later, although he was not a member of the Sons of the Pioneers, he played an important role in helping the Pioneers with some of their vocal harmonies in the 1930s before Lloyd Perryman joined the group. The Pioneers often rehearsed at Glenn’s house. He continued this kind of arranging with Ken Darby’s Singers & Choir years later. Glenn passed away in Simi Valley, California in December 1970. (O.J. Sikes (sources: Ken Griffis, Lois Spencer, Suze Spencer Marshall)

 

        For permission to reprint either the text or the photos on this page, contact Mrs. Spencer.