Glenn Frey

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Glenn Frey
Glenn Frey.jpg
Frey performing with the Eagles in 2008
Glenn Lewis Frey

(1948-11-06)November 6, 1948
DiedJanuary 18, 2016(2016-01-18) (aged 67)
Janie Beggs
(m. 1983;div. 1988)

Cindy Millican(m. 1990)
Musical career
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
Years active1966–2015
Associated acts

Glenn Lewis Frey ( /fr/ ; November 6, 1948 – January 18, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, actor and founding member of the rock band the Eagles. Frey was the lead singer and frontman for the Eagles, roles he came to share with fellow member Don Henley, with whom he wrote most of the Eagles' material. Frey played guitar and keyboards as well as singing lead vocals on songs such as "Take It Easy", "Peaceful Easy Feeling", "Tequila Sunrise", "Already Gone", "James Dean", "Lyin' Eyes", "New Kid in Town", and "Heartache Tonight".

Eagles (band) American country rock band

The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971. The founding members were Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. With five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and six number-one albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California, were ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America. By 2006, both albums were among the top three best-selling albums in the United States. Hotel California is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" and the band was ranked number 75 on the magazine's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Don Henley American singer, lyricist, producer and drummer

Donald Hugh Henley is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and founding member of the Eagles. He was the drummer and co-lead vocalist for the Eagles from 1971 to 1980, when the band broke up, and from 1994 to 2016, when they reunited. Following a year-long break due to Eagles founder Glenn Frey's death, Henley reformed the band in summer 2017 for the Classic West and Classic East rock festivals, hiring Vince Gill and Deacon Frey to replace Glenn. Henley has been the only constant member of the band since its formation. Henley sang the lead vocals on Eagles hits such as "Witchy Woman", "Desperado", "Best of My Love", "One of These Nights", "Hotel California", "Life in the Fast Lane", "The Long Run" and "Get Over It".

Take It Easy single by The Eagles

"Take It Easy" is a song written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, and recorded by the Eagles with Frey singing lead vocals. It was the band's first single, released on May 1, 1972. It peaked at No. 12 on the July 22, 1972 Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also was the opening track on the band's debut album Eagles and it has become one of their signature songs, included on all of their live and compilation albums. It is listed as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.


After the breakup of the Eagles in 1980, Frey embarked on a successful solo career. He released his debut album, No Fun Aloud , in 1982 and went on to record Top 40 hits "The One You Love", "Smuggler's Blues", "Sexy Girl", "The Heat Is On", "You Belong to the City", "True Love", "Soul Searchin'" and "Livin' Right". As a member of the Eagles, Frey won six Grammy Awards, and five American Music Awards. The Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the first year they were nominated. Consolidating his solo recordings and those with the Eagles, Frey had 24 Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

<i>No Fun Aloud</i> 1982 studio album by Glenn Frey

No Fun Aloud is the debut solo studio album by Glenn Frey, the guitarist for the Eagles. the album was released in May 1982 on Asylum in the US and the UK.

The One You Love (Glenn Frey song) 1982 single by Glenn Frey

"The One You Love" is a song by American musician and singer-songwriter Glenn Frey, most famous as singer and guitarist for the Eagles. It was released as the lead single from his debut solo album No Fun Aloud, in 1982. Ernie Watts and Jim Horn are featured on the tenor saxophone. Watts plays the repeating theme, while Horn plays the closing solo. The single features the track, "All Those Lies", as the B-side, which is also included in the album.

Smugglers Blues 1984 song performed by Glenn Frey

"Smuggler's Blues" is a song written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin, and performed by Frey. It was the third and final single from Frey's second studio album, The Allnighter (1984). It followed "Sexy Girl" and "The Allnighter"; of the three, it charted highest. Its music video won Frey an MTV Video Music Award in 1985.

Early life

Frey was born in Detroit, Michigan. [1] Growing up in Royal Oak, Michigan, he studied piano at age five, later switched to guitar, and became part of the mid-1960s Detroit rock scene. [2] One of his earliest bands was called the Subterraneans, named after Jack Kerouac's novel, [3] and included fellow Dondero High School classmates Doug Edwards (later replaced by Lenny Mintz) on drums, Doug Gunsch and Bill Barnes on guitar and Jeff Hodge on bass.

Detroit Largest city in Michigan

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.

Michigan State of the United States of America

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Royal Oak, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Royal Oak is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 57,236. It is the 8th-largest municipality in Oakland County and the 27th-largest municipality in Michigan by population.

Immediately after graduating from Dondero in 1966, he was invited to join The Four of Us, a local band led by Gary Burrows who had seen him performing with the Subterraneans. [3] [4] Frey also attended Oakland Community College while in the band, and he learned to sing harmonies performing with The Four of Us. [4] In 1967, he formed the Mushrooms with Gary Burrows' brother Jeff, Bill Barnes, Doug Gunch, and Larry Mintz. That year Frey also met Bob Seger, who helped Frey get a management and recording contract with a label formed by Seger's management team, Hideout Records. [5] Seger also wrote and produced the band's first single, "Such a Lovely Child", [6] [7] and the band made television appearances to promote it. Frey had intended to join Seger's group but his mother blocked that course of action for smoking cannabis with Seger. [4] In the later part of 1967, Frey also pulled together another band called Heavy Metal Kids with Jeff Burrows (piano), Jeff Alborell (bass), Paul Kelcourse (lead guitar) and Lance Dickerson (drums). [3]

Oakland Community College

Oakland Community College (OCC) is a public community college in Oakland County, Michigan established June 8, 1964. With five campuses, it is one of the largest community colleges in Michigan and has the state's third largest undergraduate enrollment. In addition to the five campus locations the college has a district headquarters in Bloomfield Hills. Enrollment at the college over the 2016-2017 school year was 29,560. Oakland Community College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1971 and has a Carnegie Classification of Associate's Colleges: High Transfer-High Nontraditional. The college offers 57 different degrees at the Associates level and 41 different certificate programs.

Bob Seger American singer-songwriter

Robert Clark Seger is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, breaking through with his first national hit and album in 1968. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the 'System' from his recordings and continued to strive for broader success with various other bands. In 1973, he put together the Silver Bullet Band, with a group of Detroit-area musicians, with whom he became most successful on the national level with the album Live Bullet (1976), recorded live with the Silver Bullet Band in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he achieved a national breakout with the studio album Night Moves. On his studio albums, he also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which appeared on several of Seger's best-selling singles and albums.

In 1968, at age 19, Frey played the acoustic guitar and performed background vocals on Seger's single, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man". [8] Frey has said that Seger strongly encouraged and influenced him to focus on writing original songs. [9] They remained good friends and occasional songwriting partners in later years, and Frey would also sing on Seger's songs such as "Fire Lake" and "Against the Wind". [3] [4]

Steel-string acoustic guitar

The steel-string acoustic guitar is a modern form of guitar that descends from the nylon-strung classical guitar, but is strung with steel strings for a brighter, louder sound. Like the classical guitar, it is often referred to simply as an acoustic guitar.

Ramblin Gamblin Man (song) 1968 single by Bob Seger

"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" is a song written and performed by Bob Seger. The song was originally released as a single in October 1968, then as a track on the album of the same name in April 1969. The single fared well, reaching No. 17 on the national charts. The original studio version, released in mono, had been unavailable to the public until it was included on Seger's 2011 compilation album Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets. It was Bob Seger's first top 20 hit.

Fire Lake 1980 single by Bob Seger

"Fire Lake" is a song written and recorded by the American musical artist Bob Seger. He had planned to record "Fire Lake" for his 1975 album Beautiful Loser, but the track was not finished. The song had been partly written years before, in 1971, and was finally finished in 1979 and released in 1980 on Seger's album Against the Wind. The single reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. A live version of the song appeared on the album Nine Tonight, released in 1981.

In Detroit, Frey also met and dated Joan Sliwin of the local female group The Mama Cats, which became Honey Ltd. after the group moved to California in 1968. [4] Frey went to Los Angeles hoping to reconnect with his girlfriend, and he was introduced to J. D. Souther by her sister, Alexandra Sliwin, who was with Souther at the time. [10] Frey returned to Detroit after three weeks, but then went back again to Los Angeles to form a duo with Souther called Longbranch Pennywhistle. [11] They were signed to Amos Records and released an eponymous album in 1969, which contains songs he wrote such as "Run, Boy, Run" and "Rebecca", and "Bring Back Funky Women" he co-wrote with Souther. [12] Frey also met Jackson Browne during this period. The three musicians lived in the same apartment building for a short time, and Frey later said that he learned a lot about songwriting from hearing Browne work on songs in the apartment below. [13]

Honey Ltd.

Honey Ltd. were an American 1960s girl group made up of sisters Alexandra and Joan Sliwin, Laura Polkinghorne and Marsha Temmer.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

J. D. Souther American musician and actor

John David Souther is an American singer and songwriter. He has written and co-written songs recorded by Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles.

Tenure with the Eagles

Frey met drummer Don Henley in 1970. They were signed to the same label, Amos Records, at that time and both spent time at the Troubadour. When Linda Ronstadt needed a backup band for an upcoming tour, her manager John Boylan hired Frey because he needed someone who could play rhythm guitar and sing. Don Henley was approached by Frey to join Ronstadt. [14] Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon were also hired, although as the backing band personnel changed through the tour, the four had only played once together at a gig at Disneyland. [15] [16] Frey and Henley decided to form a band together while on the tour, and they were joined by Meisner on bass and Leadon on guitar, banjo, steel guitar, mandolin and dobro, forming the Eagles, with Frey playing guitar and keyboards and Henley playing drums. The band went on to become one of the world's best-selling groups of all time. [17] Frey wrote or co-wrote (often with Henley) many of the group's songs, and sang the lead vocals on a number of Eagles hits including "Take It Easy", "Peaceful Easy Feeling", "Already Gone", "Tequila Sunrise", "Lyin' Eyes", "New Kid in Town", "Heartache Tonight" and "How Long".

The Eagles broke up around 1980 and reunited in 1994, when they released a new album titled Hell Freezes Over . The album had live tracks and four new songs. The Hell Freezes Over Tour followed. In 2012 on The Tavis Smiley Show , Frey told Smiley, "When the Eagles broke up, people used to ask me and Don, 'When are the Eagles getting back together?' We used to answer, 'When Hell freezes over.' We thought it was a pretty good joke. People have the misconception that we were fighting a lot. It is not true. We had a lot of fun. We had a lot more fun than I think people realize."[ citation needed ] At their first live concert of 1994, Frey told the crowd, "For the record, we never broke up. We just took a 14-year vacation." [18]

The Eagles' album Long Road Out of Eden was released in 2007, and Frey participated in the Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden Tour (2008–2011). [19]

In May 2012, Frey was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music along with Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit. [20]

In 2013, the two-part documentary History of the Eagles , directed by Alison Ellwood and co-produced by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney, was aired on Showtime. The documentary won an Emmy Award in 2013 for Outstanding Sound Mixing For Nonfiction Programming. An accompanying two-year History of the Eagles world tour ended on July 29, 2015 at Bossier City, Louisiana, a concert which would be Frey's final public appearance with the band.

Solo career

After the Eagles disbanded, Frey achieved solo success in the 1980s, especially with two No. 2 hits. In 1984, he recorded in collaboration with Harold Faltermeyer the worldwide hit, "The Heat Is On", the main theme from the Eddie Murphy action comedy film Beverly Hills Cop ; then, Frey performed "You Belong to the City" (from the television series Miami Vice , the soundtrack of which stayed on top of the U.S. album charts for 11 weeks in 1985). His other contribution to the soundtrack, "Smuggler's Blues", hit No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. During his solo career, Frey had 12 charting songs in the U.S. Top 100. Eleven of those were written with Jack Tempchin who also wrote "Peaceful Easy Feeling". [21]

Frey was the first choice to record "Shakedown", the theme for the film Beverly Hills Cop II . Frey did not like the lyrics and then came down with laryngitis, so the song was given to Bob Seger. After the song went to number one, Frey called to congratulate Seger, saying "At least we kept the money in Michigan!" [22]

Frey also contributed the song "Flip City" to the Ghostbusters II soundtrack, and "Part of Me, Part of You" to the soundtrack for Thelma & Louise . In 2005, he appeared on B.B. King & Friends: 80 on the track "Drivin' Wheel". [23]

In the late 1990s, Frey founded a record company, Mission Records, with attorney Peter Lopez. [24] Frey never released any of his own work on the label and the company has since disbanded.[ citation needed ]

In 2009, Glenn Frey was voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. [25]

On May 8, 2012, he released his first solo album in 20 years, After Hours , featuring covers of pop standards from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Acting career

As a television actor, Frey guest starred on Miami Vice in the first-season episode "Smuggler's Blues", inspired by his hit song of the same name, and had a starring role in the "Dead Dog Arc" of Wiseguy . [26] He was also the star of South of Sunset , which was canceled after one episode. In the late 1990s, he guest-starred on Nash Bridges as a policeman whose teenage daughter had run amok and gone on a crime spree with her sociopathic boyfriend. In 2002, he appeared on HBO's Arliss , playing a political candidate who double-crosses Arliss and must pay a high price for it.

Frey's first foray into film was his starring role in Let's Get Harry , a 1986 film about a group of plumbers who travel to Colombia to rescue a friend from a drug lord. Frey's next film appearance was a smaller role in Cameron Crowe's third film, Jerry Maguire (1996). Frey played the frugal general manager of the Arizona Cardinals football team who, in the film's climax, finally agrees to pay Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character, wide receiver Rod Tidwell, a large professional contract. [27]

Personal life

Frey was married twice. From 1983 to 1988, he was married to artist Janie Beggs. He married dancer and choreographer Cindy Millican in 1990. They had three children: a daughter Taylor, and two sons Deacon and Otis, and remained together until his death. [28] [29] Deacon Frey, since his father's death, has toured with the surviving Eagles. [30]

Illness and death

From about 2000, Frey had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, which affected various joints of his body. [31] The medication that he was prescribed to control the disease eventually led to colitis and pneumonia, [31] and in November 2015, the Eagles announced that they were postponing their appearance at the Kennedy Center Honors as Frey required surgery for intestinal problems and a lengthy recovery period. [32] Following surgery, he was placed in a medically-induced coma at Columbia University Medical Center. [33] Frey died there on January 18, 2016 at the age of 67 from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia, while recovering from gastrointestinal tract surgery. [2] [34] [35] [36] Medications for rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis can compromise the immune system's ability to fight off pneumonia. [37] In January, 2018, Frey's wife filed a suit against Mount Sinai Hospital and gastroenterologist Steven Itzkowitz for the wrongful death of Frey. [38]

Frey was publicly mourned by his friends, fellow musicians and bandmates [39] including Don Henley, [40] Randy Meisner, [41] J. D. Souther, [42] Jack Tempchin, [43] Irving Azoff, [44] Linda Ronstadt, [45] Don Felder, [46] and Bob Seger. [47] At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, the remaining members of the Eagles and Jackson Browne performed "Take It Easy" in his honor. [48] A life-sized statue of Frey was unveiled at the Standin' on the Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona, on September 24, 2016, to honor his songwriting contributions to "Take It Easy", made famous by the Eagles as their first single in 1972. [49] The road that runs next to the high school he attended now bears his name. [50]


Studio albums

YearTitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions Certifications [51]
1982 No Fun Aloud 3239
1984 The Allnighter 22573140
  • US: Gold
1988 Soul Searchin'
  • Release date: August 15, 1988
  • Label: MCA Records
1992 Strange Weather
  • Release date: June 23, 1992
  • Label: MCA Records
2012 After Hours
  • Release date: May 8, 2012
  • Label: Universal Music
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums

YearTitleAlbum details
1993 Glenn Frey Live
  • Release date: July 2, 1993
  • Label: MCA Records

Compilation albums

YearTitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions

1995 Solo Collection
  • Release date: March 28, 1995
  • Label: MCA
200020th Century Masters –
The Millennium Collection
  • Release date: September 19, 2000
  • Label: MCA
2018Above the Clouds: The Collection [58]
  • Release date: May 11, 2018
  • Label: Geffen


YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum
US Main
[60] [61]

[61] [62]
1982"I Found Somebody"31572793No Fun Aloud
"The One You Love"1521225036
"Don't Give Up"25
1983"All Those Lies"4128
1984"Sexy Girl"202348128176The Allnighter
"The Allnighter"54
"The Heat Is On"24812222 Beverly Hills Cop (soundtrack)
1985"Smuggler's Blues"12133722The Allnighter / Miami Vice (soundtrack)
"You Belong to the City"21262942046Miami Vice(soundtrack)
1988"True Love"1315228449Soul Searchin'
"Soul Searchin'"5
1989"Livin' Right"9022
1989"Flip City" Ghostbusters II (soundtrack)
1991"Part of Me, Part of You"559798Strange Weather
1992"I've Got Mine"911218
"River of Dreams"275734
1993"Love in the 21st Century" A
1995"This Way to Happiness"54Solo Collection
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Takamine Guitars manufactures a Glenn Frey signature acoustic-electric guitar, the EF360GF. It is designed to replicate the Takamine Frey used for his live and studio applications. [68] In the 1970s, Frey used Martin acoustic guitars in both six- and 12-string versions.[ citation needed ]

Frey played assorted electric guitars over the years, namely Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG, Gibson ES-330, Epiphone Casino and Rickenbacker 230, [69] but the electric guitar that is most associated with him was his black Gibson Les Paul Junior, nicknamed Old Black. [70]

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