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Bob Luman

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Bob Luman
Birth nameRobert Glynn Luman
Born(1937-04-15)April 15, 1937
Blackjack, Texas, U.S.
OriginNacogdoches, Texas
DiedDecember 27, 1978(1978-12-27) (aged 41)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresCountry, rockabilly
Years active1956–1978

Robert Glynn Luman (April 15, 1937 – December 27, 1978)[1] was an American country and rockabilly singer-songwriter.

Early life and career[edit]

Luman was born in Blackjack, Texas, United States,[1] though was raised in Nacogdoches, Texas. His early interest in music was influenced by his father, an amateur fiddle, guitar and harmonica player.[1]

Bob Luman received his first guitar when he was thirteen years of age.[2]

Luman attended high school in Kilgore, where the family had moved after young Bob's birth and started his first band while in high school.[2]

Luman had been a baseball star at his high school and tried out with the Major League Baseball Pittsburgh Pirates, but when he did not make it in professional baseball, he decided to concentrate on his music.[1]

In 1956, he won a talent contest promoted by the Future Farmers of America,[1] which earned him an appearance on the Louisiana Hayride.[2]

For the Hayride, Luman formed a backup band called the Shadows, including James Burton on guitar, James Kirkland on bass and Butch White on drums. In 1957, the band signed with Imperial Records, where they recorded "All Night Long" (b/w "Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache") and "Amarillo Blues."[2]

That same year, the band appeared on the Town Hall Party in Los Angeles, and appeared in the movie Carnival Rock, where they backed up David Houston.[2]

The following year, having been dropped by Imperial Records, Luman signed with Capitol Records,[1] where he released "Try Me" and "I Know My Baby Cares." Capitol Records wanted Luman to change his name, which he refused to do, so he left the record label and signed with Warner Bros. Records, recording "Class of '59" and "Loretta."[2]

In 1960, Luman was inducted into the United States Army. It was while still serving in the Army Warner Bros. Records released Luman's best-known crossover hit, "Let's Think About Living,"[1] a novelty song that hit No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 9 on the Billboard country music chart.[2] It also reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart.[3]

After leaving the Army in 1962, Luman moved to Nashville.

On August 12, 1964, he married Barbara in Yuma, Colorado.[citation needed]

In 1965, he joined the Grand Ole Opry.[2]

Later career[edit]

Luman toured frequently in the 1960s and 1970s, and became popular in Las Vegas, with an act that combined country and rockabilly. He signed with Epic Records in 1968, and had several hits with them, including "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers" and "Still Loving You."[2] "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers" became his biggest country hit, hitting No. 4 on the country chart. (Steve Wariner, who had earlier been a member of Luman's band, later covered the song in 1984, and he, too, took it to No. 4 on the country charts.)

Luman's other country hits included "Ain't Got Time to Be Unhappy," (1968) "Ballad of Two Brothers" (with Autry Inman, 1968), "When You Say Love" (1972), "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)" (1973), "Proud Of You Baby" (1975), and "The Pay Phone" (1977).[1] Perhaps his most unusual song was a slow, soulful recitation of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone."

Luman died of pneumonia in Nashville in late December 1978.[1] He was 41 years old. After his death, Bear Family Records released several compilations of his songs, including More of the Rocker, Still Rockin' and Carnival Rock.[2]


Luman is a member of both the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame.[2]

His song "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers" was featured in the 1988 drama film Rain Man.



Year Album US Country Label
1960 Let's Think About Living Warner Bros.
1965 Livin' Lovin' Sounds Hickory
1968 Ain't Got Time to Be Unhappy Epic
1969 Come On Home and Sing the Blues to Daddy
1970 Gettin' Back to Norma
1971 Is It Any Wonder That I Love You
Chain Don't Take to Me
1972 When You Say Love 38
Lonely Women Make Good Lovers 10
1973 Neither One of Us 26
1974 Bob Luman's Greatest Hits 26
Still Loving You 42 Hickory/MGM
Red Cadillac and Black Moustache Epic
1976 A Satisfied Mind
1977 Alive and Well
1978 Bob Luman 49 Polydor


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country US CAN Country AUS
1959 "My Baby Walks over Me"
"Dreamy Doll" Let's Think About Living
1960 "Let's Think About Living" 9 7 3
"Why Why Bye Bye" 106 43
"Oh Lonesome Me" 105
1961 "The Great Snow Man" / "The Pig Latin Song" (both written by John D. Loudermilk) 62
"Private Eye" 58
1962 "Rocks of Reno"
"Belonging to You"
"Hey Joe"
"You're Everything"
1963 "You're Welcome"
"I'm Gonna Write You a Song"
"I Like Your Kind of Love" (with Sue Thompson) 26
1964 "The File" 24 Livin' Lovin' Sounds
"Lonely Room"
"Fire Engine Red"
1966 "Five Miles from Home (Soon I'll See Mary)" 39
"Poor Boy Blues" 39
"Come On and Sing" 42
1967 "Hardly Anymore" 59
"If You Don't Love Me (Then Why Don't You Leave Me Alone)" 61
"Running Scared"
1968 "Ain't Got Time to Be Unhappy" 19 6 Ain't Got Time to Be Unhappy
"I Like Trains" 50 Come On Home and Sing the Blues to Daddy
"Woman Without Love"
1969 "Come On Home and Sing the Blues to Daddy" 24
"It's All Over (But the Shouting)" 65
"Every Day I Have to Cry Some" 23 Gettin' Back to Norma
"The Gun" 60 28
1970 "Gettin' Back to Norma" 56
"Still Loving You" 56
"Honky Tonk Man" 22 Is It Any Wonder That I Love You
"What About the Hurt" 44 37
1971 "Is It Any Wonder That I Love You" 60
"I Got a Woman" 40 43 Chain Don't Take to Me
"A Chain Don't Take to Me" 30
1972 "When You Say Love" 6 10 When You Say Love
"It Takes You" 21 34 Lonely Women Make Good Lovers
"Lonely Women Make Good Lovers" 4 4
1973 "Neither One of Us" 7 17 Neither One of Us
"A Good Love Is Like a Good Song" 23 43
"Still Loving You" (re-recording) 7 29 Bob Luman's Greatest Hits
1974 "Just Enough to Make Me Stay" 23
"Let Me Make the Bright Lights Shine for You" 25 Red Cadillac and Black Moustache
1975 "Proud of You Baby" 22 38 A Satisfied Mind
"Shame on Me" 48
1976 "A Satisfied Mind" 41
"The Man from Bowling Green" 82
"How Do You Start Over" 89
"Labor of Love" 94 Alive and Well
1977 "He's Got a Way with Women" 63
"I'm a Honky-Tonk Woman's Man" 33 Bob Luman
"The Pay Phone" 13
"A Christmas Tribute" 92
1978 "Proud Lady" 47 Bob Luman


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1533. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "LUMAN, ROBERT GLYNN [BOB]". The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. September 2, 2008. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 333. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

Further reading[edit]

  • Davis, W.P. (1998). "Bob Luman" In Encyclopedia of Country Music. P. Kingsbury, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 308–309.
  • "Robert Glynn (Bob) Luman," In "Handbook of Texas Online." Texas State Historical Association.

External links[edit]