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Tom Glazer, 88; Folk Singer Had Hit 'On Top of Spaghetti'

February 28, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Tom Glazer, 88, a folk singer best known for fanciful children's songs, including one about a mountain of spaghetti, died Feb. 21 at his home in Philadelphia. The cause of death was not reported.

Glazer was one of a group of folk singers, including Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Josh White and Burl Ives, who helped popularize folk music in the 1940s.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday March 05, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction
Glazer obituary -- An obituary of folk singer Tom Glazer in the California section Feb. 28 said he died at his home in Philadelphia. In fact, he died at a nursing care and hospice facility in Rochester, N.Y., of complications from a stroke.

Glazer's best-remembered song, though not his own favorite, was "On Top of Spaghetti," a 1963 hit sung to the tune of "On Top of Old Smoky."

The song, featuring a wayward meatball, had a chorus of children singing lines like "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese."

Glazer was born in Philadelphia and hitchhiked to New York when he was 17.

He started an ABC radio show, "Tom Glazer's Ballad Box," in 1945 and was host of a weekly concert show for children in the 1960s on WQXR-FM in New York.

Glazer also wrote books about music and composed songs recorded by Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and the Kingston Trio.

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