Thomas Zachariah Glazer (September 2, 1914 – February 21, 2003) was an American folk singer and songwriter known primarily as a composer of ballads, including: “Because All Men Are Brothers”, recorded by The Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary, “Talking Inflation Blues”, recorded by Bob Dylan, “The Ballad of FDR” and “A Dollar Ain’t A Dollar Anymore”. He wrote the lyrics to the songs “Melody of Love” (1954), and “Skokian” (1954).
Thomas Zachariah Glazer was born in Philadelphia on September 2, 1914, to Russian émigré parents from Minsk. His father, a carpenter in a shipyard, died during the 1918 flu pandemic, and Glazer was brought up by a series of relatives before being placed in the Hebrew Orphan Home in Philadelphia with his two brothers; his younger brother Sidney Glazier became a producer, most notably of Mel Brooks’s The Producers. Their father’s record collection influenced Glazer musically, and at school he learned to play the tuba, guitar and bass. At 17, he hitchhiked to New York, where he took night courses to complete his education while working at Macy’s during the day. He subsequently attended City College of New York for three years. He is of Jewish descent.
Glazer moved to Washington, D.C. and began work at the Library of Congress. There he met Alan Lomax who worked for cataloguing American folk songs, and who was a great influence. Glazer began performing as an amateur and was invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to perform at the White House for soldiers working there as guards. He made a successful professional début at The Town Hall, New York City, in January 1943 during a blizzard, and in 1945 had a radio show Tom Glazer’s Ballad Box. His songs of the period, such as “A Dollar Ain’t a Dollar Anymore”, “Our Fight is Yours”, “When the Country is Broke”, and “Talking Inflation Blues” took strong social stands. Glazer’s songs were recorded by Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Burl Ives, The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra. He was part of the strong folk music scene in New York in the 1940s, and with Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Josh White helped prepare for the commercially successful folk revival of the 1960s. “He wasn’t fancy,” Seeger reported after his death “He was just straightforward. He had a good sense of humor.”
Glazer was married to Miriam Reed Eisenberg with whom he had two sons. The marriage ended in divorce in 1974.
Glazer recorded a number of children’s records in the late 1940s and early 1950s with Young People’s Records, Inc. In the 1960s he hosted a weekly children’s show on WQXR radio in New York. (wikipedia)
And here´s one of his books:
A new treasury of folk songs by Tom Glazer. The book was originally published in paperback in 1961.
Compiled from the best known sources by Tom Glazer, well-known folk musician and singer.
With special easy guitar accompaniments.
The original edition from 1961:
This comprehensive book contains a wide-ranging selection of favourite songs from many countries and eras. Work songs, dungeon songs, love songs, the sea, western ways – all chosen for consistent quality as well as variety.
Special addition – The Beginner Folk Guitarist. Tom Glazer invented a new, amazingly easy way to learn to play guitar. Teach yourself the basic “open-string” chords and 2 beat, 3 beat and free style rhythms.
I find it very interesting that many of these old songs are still very popular today … Folk songs of this kind are simply immortal !
I heard this song for the first time from The Spencer Davis Group:
I heard this song for the first time from Richie Havens (“Woodstock”):
A short biography from the Billboard Magazine (1963):