Glen D. Hardin (sometimes spelled Glenn D. Hardin) has enjoyed a long career in rock & roll and country music, playing behind some of the most prominent music stars of the 1970s and 1980s. Born in Ropesville, Tennessee in 1939, he was in his mid-teens as country music began its transformation into rock & roll, and he got to see performers such as Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly during their early, pre-stardom days. His own interest lay more with playing than singing -- he learned guitar at a professional level but became truly proficient on the piano. Hardin's first major gig came in 1961, when he became a member of the Crickets, the Texas-spawned band founded by Buddy Holly and led by drummer Jerry Allison in the wake of Holly's death -- he played the piano on the singles "My Little Girl" and "(They Call Her) La Bamba," and on their album California Sun; additionally, after Joe B. Mauldin left the group, Hardin furnished their bass sound with a Fender Rhodes piano bass. He also wrote songs with Crickets guitarist/singer Sonny Curtis, co-authoring the group's single "Teardrops Feel Like Rain," and the songs "Count Me In," "My Heart's Symphony," and "Where Will the Word Come From," recorded by their fellow Liberty Records artists Gary Lewis & the Playboys. During the second half of the 1960s, Hardin kept busy and highly visible as a member of the Shindogs, the house band on the weekly ABC rock & roll showcase series Shindig, which had been put together by Leon Russell and included James Burton as leader and lead guitarist. He also played on records by Merle Haggard and Hamilton Camp. It was through Russell that Hardin played on records for Delaney Bramlett and, in tandem with Burton that, in 1970, he started working with Elvis Presley. Although he also played in the country-rock band Swampwater, and did sessions with everyone from Dean Martin to Gram Parsons and Linda Ronstadt during this period, Hardin's most important and long-lasting 1970s gig was with Elvis -- he and Burton, along with bassist Jerry Scheff and drummer Ron Tutt, became what was known informally within Presley's orbit as "the T.C.B. Band," and they were at the core of his live and studio performances from 1970 through 1976, a period in which Hardin also wrote arrangements for the singer. He played on the live performances and studio tracks that comprised the bulk of Presley's comeback legacy, and only quit in 1976, as Presley's physical and mental condition began to deteriorate. Hardin jumped right in to Emmylou Harris' backing group, the Hot Band, remaining with her into the 1980s, in addition to playing on records by Michael Nesmith, Hoyt Axton, John Denver, and Chris Hillman, among others. In recent years, in addition to playing with the Crickets on-stage, he has been playing as a backup musician to Presley once again, as part of the live band in the holographic stage entertainment show "Elvis Lives."
Share this page