An Interview with Glenn Couch
I recently had the opportunity to interview Glenn Couch, who sang lead for the Weatherfords for around three years in the 1960s.
Daniel: Did you grow up around Gospel Music? If not, what was your first exposure to this music?
Glenn: I was born into a Gospel singing family in that pop (C. G. Couch) was a song-writing, singin’ school teacher when he met my mom at one of his schools in Japton, Arkansas (maybe a population of 50 in 1932) so I attended my first singin’ school at 10 days of age and began singing with mom & pop at around 4.
Daniel: What groups did you sing with, if any, prior to the Weatherfords?
Glenn: My dad had a quartet called the Mel-O-Diers that sang all around Northeast Oklahoma and Southeast Kansas and had a 15 min. program on KGGF in Coffeyville, Kansas for many years, so when I was 15 I was drafted into the group as bass singer. The Couch Family was also on KGGF until I left for the University of Colorado in 1954. The picture is the family in the KGGF studio with Caroline Coday ( a classmate of mine) at the piano and my kid brother Duncan who I think was our alto at the time. A year later when Duncan and I joined David Ingles in The Gospel Stars Duncan was our 14 (later 15) year old bass singer. Duncan went on to get his PHD in music education and had a successful career as a university choral director.
Daniel: How did you get the job with the Weatherfords?
Glenn: After CU, a couple of years with Uncle Sam, and a couple of years teaching high school music; I landed a job with The Olinger Quartet in Denver. I was with them for 5 years when I got the call from Earl Weatherford saying he needed a lead singer. I had first heard them on Los Angeles radio several years before and loved the sounds I heard.
Daniel: What have you been doing, personally and professionally, in the years since your experiences on the full-time Southern Gospel circuit?
Glenn: I was with Earl & Lily for about 3 years when I took a job as engineer with Mark Records in Hollywood. I had no more than started there when David Ingles began calling me to move to Tulsa and sing with his group The Vanguards. We sang together from late 1967 until 2000; although the last 15 or 20 years of that was pretty off and on because David was busy putting together his Oasis Radio Network and the rest of us were also busy with our day jobs as well.
I moved here to Fayetteville, Arkansas to work at a radio announcing job…driving over to Tulsa when we had singing date. In Fayetteville I sang with Bobby Moore and Johney Boles in a group we called Jubilee.
I guess that pretty much wraps up my singing career, since I haven’t had too many calls from quartets needing someone.
Daniel: Thank you!
(Photos courtesy Glenn Couch.)