Click above to watch a special acoustic performance by Glen Templeton from from the VIP music area at Country Stampede 2011.
Bio from GlenTempleton.com
“I’m not sure I chose country music, in a way it kind of chose me,” explains Glen Templeton, one of Country Music’s most promising up and coming stars. “I probably had ten or eleven jobs from the time I got out of high school until the time I finally moved to Nashville and I think I was probably fired ten or eleven times too!”, says Templeton with his trademark mischievous grin. “I’d show up for work bleeding through the eyes from being out singing and playing music the night before and pretty soon the boss man would have enough and I’d be fired. The thing is, the more jobs you lose, the less and less professional that next job becomes. One day you’re working at the Chevrolet garage or running heavy equipment and the next thing you know you’re digging ditches by hand with a shovel. That’s why I say I think country music kind of chose me. It just kept pulling on me, no matter what the cost was at the time.”
Today, GT, as his friends refer to him, wraps his hands around the neck of a guitar instead of a shovel. It’s a career change that seems to be working out – now the jobs are becoming more and more professional. In 2008 GT was hand picked by Conway Twitty’s daughters to portray Conway in the touring musical tribute to their father. They first heard about Glen through Joni Twitty’s husband, John Wesley Ryles. Ryles, a noted studio background vocalist, had worked with Glen on demo projects. “With more than 20,000 hopefuls auditioning for the part, Joni Twitty finally found a powerful voice capable of conveying many of the same qualities Conway had”. “One of he biggest thrills of my life was performing the inaugural show of the musical,” explains Templeton. We were still waiting for my wardrobe to be finished for the tour and I actually got to wear some of Conway’s old suits. I wore these custom wigs they made for me out in LA. I was singing his songs and hearing people react to them the way they must have reacted to him. In a way, it was like getting a chance to literally walk in the shoes of one of my musical heroes.”
When asked about some of his influences growing up, Glen had this to say,” I listened to a lot of Waylon Jennings because I liked his outlaw style of music; and I really liked Haggard too, the simplicity and the way he told a real story in his songs; and Conway too of course. He had so much power and emotion in his singing. All three of them are great songwriters and had their own way of making people believers in what they were singing. I hope someday people will say the same thing about me… that I have my own unique way of singing a song and making people believe in what I’m singing about. That’s why I’m in this for the long haul. I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to say.”
Glen’s writing is already speaking to people. His songs, God Bless Good Old Boys and Country Boys For Life are shaped by experiences he had growing up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “My parents split up when I was real little, and I was raised by my Memaw,” Templeton recalls fondly. “She lived on a pension check and we never had a lot of materialistic things. I never had a car or anything like that and there was a time I wore about three different outfits to school for a couple of years in a row. But you know, I always had everything I really needed. I’ve really been blessed in life. Even though my parents weren’t around much at times, I knew they both loved me. Especially as I got older, we grew closer.” Glen still carries a part of his father Dwight’s legacy inside of him, although he passed away a few years ago. “My daddy was a country music singer too,” explains Glen. “Back in the 70’s he had a single out called California. I remember one time he came up to see me when I was living in Nashville. I got him up on the stage at the club I was playing and we did some songs together. He really knocked it down. I’ll never forget that.”
Glen has shared the stage with a number of other country music artists as well. In his early Nashville days, he worked the clubs down on lower Broadway. At the world famous Tootsie’s, it wasn’t uncommon for an “A List” star to hop up on stage to do a few songs with Glen and the band. After earning a reputation as one of the best singer-songwriters to play the shotgun bars and honkytonks in Nashville, Glen was recruited by Mike Murphy, owner of Cowboy’s Dancehall clubs in Texas. He toured the circuit playing to several thousand people each weekend for his own shows and was the opening act for a number of top names in country music. Never forgetting his old school country roots, Glen cites the shows he performed on tour with George Jones in early 2009 as some of his favorites. He has also appeared on CMT, The Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman, and a long list of regional performance venues. True to his nature, Glen doesn’t lose sight of what’s important in life: “I’ve played a lot of places, but I’d have to say some of the most personally rewarding are when I go back home to Alabama and play for hometown people that really care about me and want to see me do well.”
Country music may have chosen Glen Templeton, but it won’t be long before country music fans all over the country are choosing Glen Templeton’s music.