Darrell Glenn was the son of singer / songwriter Artie Glenn. In fact,
Artie wrote his son's first hit record that was also a hit for several
others over the years - "Cryting In The Chapel". Artie's group, the Rhythm
Riders provided the instrumental backup to Darrell's recording of this song,
released on the VAlley Records label outof Knoxville.
In 1953, Darrell was a regular on the Bewley Barn Dance, which was aired
over WBAP-TV in Fort Worth, Texas every Friday night. He and his dad,
Artie Glenn and the Rhythm Riders were also appearing on
on the "...king-size hillbilly show" the Hayloft Jamboree held in the Northside
Coliseum in Forth Worth. The Rhythm Riders were the house band for the show.
This busy talent was also appearing on the Big D Jamboree show that originated
in Dallas and aired nationwide over the radio networks.
As sometimes happens - a hit song or talent isn't initially recognized, Darrell
signed up with Valley Records when a national publishing house didn't think
he was old enough nor the song good enough at the time. But Jack Comer and
Dave Garrison, who were partners at Valley Records saw something and signed
up both Artie and Darrell Glenn. The song, "Crying In The Chapel" was released
and an immediate hit. Darrell's record on the seemingly small label reportedly
sold over 15,000 copies in two months. Suddenly, the national publishing houses
were interested, thirteen of them came calling per one article in 1953. He
got the attention of the national record labels, too. But for the time being
stuck with Valley Records.
All of that happened before he was out of high school. Before he graduated
in June of 1953, he hadn't set foot outside of Texas. But after graduation,
he hit the personal appearance trail on the coattails of his hit record,
visiting nearly 20 states and Canada under the promotion of Valley Records.
The song "Crying In The Chapel" has a personal meaning to the Glenn family, too.
You see, there was a chapel was reference to a little church near the Glenn home
where Darrell was often teaching Sunday School classes.
Credits & Sources
- Country Song Roundup No. 27; December 1953;
American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT