Glenn Frey

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Glenn Frey
Glenn Frey.jpg
Frey performing with the Eagles in 2008.
Background information
Birth nameGlenn Lewis Frey
Born(1948-11-06) November 6, 1948 (age 65)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, actor, painter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drums, harmonica
Years active1966–present
LabelsAsylum, MCA
Associated actsEagles, J. D. Souther, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt
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For the German boyband with singer Glenn Frey, see Touché (band). For the former American football coach, see Glen Frey.
Glenn Frey
Glenn Frey.jpg
Frey performing with the Eagles in 2008.
Background information
Birth nameGlenn Lewis Frey
Born(1948-11-06) November 6, 1948 (age 65)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, actor, painter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drums, harmonica
Years active1966–present
LabelsAsylum, MCA
Associated actsEagles, J. D. Souther, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt

Glenn Lewis Frey (pronounced Fry; born November 6, 1948) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as a founding member of the Eagles. Frey formed the Eagles after he met drummer Don Henley in 1970 and the two eventually joined Linda Ronstadt's backup band for her summer tour. The Eagles formed in 1971 and released their debut album in 1972. Glenn Frey played guitar with the Eagles as well as piano and keyboards, and shared lead vocals with Don Henley. The Eagles broke up in 1980 after becoming one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey sang lead vocals on many Eagles hits such as "Take It Easy", "Peaceful Easy Feeling", "Tequila Sunrise", "Already Gone", "Lyin' Eyes", "New Kid in Town", and "Heartache Tonight". After the breakup of the Eagles in 1980, Frey embarked on a successful solo career. He released his debut album in 1982 and went on to record Top 40 hits "The One You Love", "Smuggler's Blues", "Sexy Girl", "The Heat Is On", and "You Belong to the City". As a member of the Eagles, Frey has won six Grammys, and five American Music Awards. The Eagles have sold over 120 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. As a solo artist and with the Eagles combined, Frey has released 24 Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

Early life[edit]

Frey was born in Detroit, Michigan.[1] Growing up in Royal Oak, Michigan, he studied keyboard with concert pianist John Harrison and became part of the mid-1960s Detroit rock scene. One of his earliest bands was called the Subterraneans and included fellow Dondero High School Class of '66 students Doug Edwards (later replaced by Lenny Mintz) on drums, Doug Gunsch and Bill Barnes on guitar and Jeff Hodge on bass.

His first professional recording experience, at 19, was performing acoustic guitar and background vocals on Bob Seger's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" in 1968.[2] Frey has said that Seger strongly encouraged and influenced him to focus on writing his own original songs.[3] Frey and Seger remained friends and occasional songwriting partners in later years.

Frey then moved to Los Angeles to follow his girlfriend, Joan Sliwin, who was an aspiring singer. His first recording as a musical writer was while fronting Longbranch Pennywhistle, a duo with J. D. Souther, in 1969. Frey was introduced to Souther by Joan's sister, Alexandra Sliwin of Honey Ltd., a friend from his Detroit days and Souther's girlfriend at the time. Frey also met Jackson Browne there, with whom he subsequently wrote songs. The three lived in the same apartment building for a short time.

Tenure with the Eagles[edit]

After a stint in 1971 backing Linda Ronstadt, Frey, along with Don Henley, formed the Eagles, playing guitar and keyboards. Frey wrote or co-wrote (often with Henley) many of the group's songs, and sang lead vocal 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 in 1980 and reunited in 1994. 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."

The Eagles' album Long Road out of Eden was released in 2007. Glenn Frey participated in the Eagles' The Long Road out of Eden Tour (2008–2011).

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 authorised documentary caused a stir among fans,[4] since it reportedly "shines a surprisingly harsh light on Glenn Frey and Don Henley, the group's chief songwriters and self-appointed leaders," and includes footage demonstrating that "Frey and Henley [were] dictators who berate their bandmates."[4]

Solo career[edit]

After the Eagles disbanded, Frey found solo success in the 1980s, especially with two No. 2 hits: the soundtrack songs "The Heat Is On" (from Beverly Hills Cop) and "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 Hot 100. 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. He released his first solo album in 20 years, After Hours, featuring covers of pop standards from the 1940s-1960s, on May 8, 2012.

During his solo career he had 12 songs in the U.S. Top 100. Eleven of those were written with Jack Tempchin who also wrote "Peaceful Easy Feeling".[5]

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

Acting career[edit]

As an actor on television, Frey guest starred on Miami Vice in the first season episode titled "Smuggler's Blues", inspired by his hit song of the same name, and had a starring role in the "Dead Dog Arc" of Wiseguy. 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 Arli$$, 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. 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.

Commercial endorsements[edit]

Frey appeared in or wrote music for a few advertising campaigns in the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s.

Frey's first appearance as an actor in a commercial was for Pepsi with Miami Vice star Don Johnson. Another notable commercial campaign was the "Hard Rock in the 70s, Rock Hard in the 80s" gym campaign of 1988, which featured a photograph of a newly physically toned Frey contrasted with the famous Hotel California insert photograph. He even did a picture spread in Rolling Stone modeling ski wear, and a spread in Penthouse modeling sweaters.

Frey also contributed music for several commercials, with his jingle for Canada Dry ginger ale evolving into the obscure Japanese Strange Weather bonus track "Ain't It Love".


Takamine Guitars manufactures a Glenn Frey signature acoustic-electric guitar, the EF360GF. It is designed to replicate the Takamine Frey uses for live and studio applications.[6]


Studio albums[edit]

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsCertifications[7]
(sales threshold)
1982No Fun Aloud3239
1984The Allnighter22573140
  • US certification: Gold
1988Soul Searchin'
  • Release date: August 15, 1988
  • Label: MCA Records
1992Strange Weather
  • Release date: June 23, 1992
  • Label: MCA Records
2012After Hours
  • Release date: May 8, 2012
  • Label: Universal Music
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

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

Compilation albums[edit]

YearAlbum details
1995Solo Collection
  • Release date: March 28, 1995
  • Label: MCA Records
200020th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection
  • Release date: September 19, 2000
  • Label: MCA Records


YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum
1982"I Found Somebody"31572793No Fun Aloud
"The One You Love"152125036
"Don't Give Up"25
1983"All Those Lies"4128
1984"Sexy Girl"2023481376The Allnighter
"The Allnighter"54
"The Heat Is On"24812222Beverly Hills Cop (soundtrack)
1985"Smuggler's Blues"12133722The Allnighter / Miami Vice (soundtrack)
"You Belong to the City"212622046Miami Vice (soundtrack)
1988"True Love"13152249Soul Searchin'
"Soul Searchin'"5
1989"Livin' Right"9022
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"112
1995"This Way to Happiness"54Solo Collection
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce; Ankeny, Jason. "Glenn Frey Biography". allmusic. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Bob Seger Songs - 8. 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Glenn Frey Talks Bob Seger And Woodward Avenue". CBS Local. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Eagles Fans Angered by New Documentary on the Band", therenodispatch blog, February 2013
  5. ^ "((( Jack Tempchin > Songs > Songs Composed By )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  6. ^ "Glenn Frey signature Takamine guitar". Music Trades 157 (1): 203. 
  7. ^ "Gold & Platinum - July 18, 2010". RIAA. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  8. ^ "((( Glenn Frey > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic. 1948-11-06. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  9. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  10. ^ "Glenn Frey". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  11. ^ Steffen Hung. "Swedish Charts Portal". Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Die Offizielle Schweizer Hitparade und Music Community". Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  13. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 215. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]