When Elvis sought the best piano player to join the Taking Care of Business (TCB) Band, he considered no further than Glen D. Hardin. Glen D. Hardin is a man who reveled in a long rock and roll and country music career. Born in Wellington, Texas, he learned to play the piano by the age of eight. However, he was not serious about playing the piano for a living until he got a job in the infamous Palomino Club, in Long Beach, California. His musical career then started in 1962 when he became a member of Buddy Holly’s The Crickets band.
A Great Piano Player Behind Bands
Glen D. Hardin’s own passion was more with playing than singing. Although he learned guitar at a professional level, he was truly proficient with the piano. He was in his mid-teens when country music began its crossover into rock and roll. He played behind some of the most famous music stars of the 1970s and 1980s and he got to see performers such as Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly during their pre-stardom days. Glen grew up with Joe B. Maudlin and drummer Jerry Allison, both members of Buddy Holly’s band, The Crickets. This was his first major gig, in 1962. After Holly’s death, Glen played with the band and became an honorary member. In addition to writing hit songs, he was also a well-requested session pianist, and he worked with the likes of John Denver, Bing Crosby, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Linda Ronstadt.
During the second half of the 1960s, Hardin kept busy and was very much seen as a member of the Shindogs, the house band on the weekly ABC rock and roll showcase series Shindig. Elvis called Glen in 1970 and requested him to join the TCB Band to replace Larry Muhoberac. While he also played in the country-rock band Swampwater and did sessions with everyone from Dean Martin to Gram Parsons and Linda Ronstadt, Hardin’s long-lasting 1970s gig was with Elvis and the TCB band. Glen toured and recorded with Elvis until 1976. He also arranged many of Elvis’ hit songs, like “Let It Be Me,” “The Wonder of You,” and “I Just Can’t Help Believin.” Time after time, Elvis would pick a new song on impulse then he and Glen would often stay up overnight working on arrangements.
Happy Birthday, Glen!
After Elvis’ passing, Glen continued his passion to back the other artists he worked with. Glen worked closely with Emmylou Harris’ backing group, the Hot Band. He also worked with Gram Parsons. In August of 1997, he teamed up once more with the TCB Band for the first ever production of Elvis – The Concert in Memphis. This show reunited a whole host of musicians and singers with Elvis via video. He has since toured worldwide with this production and remained to perform with a number of other vocal artists. With him still lives Elvis’ life motto “taking care of business” musically with his three friends and colleagues.
Elvis Presley proudly introduces Glen Hardin as his band’s piano player. Look how proud he is!
Here is also another clip. Behind the scenes with Elvis and the TCB Band. Look closely as Glen Hardin gracefully plays the piano.