Joe Glaser

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Joseph G. Glaser (December 17, 1896 – June 6, 1969) [1][2] was an artist manager famous for his involvement in the careers of jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday.


Glaser was the son of a Chicago family of Russian-Jewish origins.[3][4][5] After a series of irregular jobs (fight promoter, club manager), with the help of his alleged mob connections he started managing Louis Armstrong in May 1935. The success of their association caused other jazz musicians to join Glaser and his agency known as the Associated Booking Corporation which "was formed in 1940 by Joe Glaser and Louis Armstrong".[6] The relation of Glaser and Armstrong has been represented as a prominent element in Terry Teachout's theater play "Satchmo at the Waldorf."

Although his clients had a high opinion of him, Glaser was a feared person in the business industry. Associated Booking Corporation or "ABC" as it is also known as, has at various times represented Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Barbra Streisand, B.B. King, The Allman Brothers Band, T. Rex, and many others.[7]

His agency – Associated Booking Corporation – was incorporated on June 26, 1943, and is still in existence today.[8]


Glaser died on June 6, 1969, at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City after suffering a stroke. He was 72.

FBI file[edit]

After his death in 1969, Glaser's FBI file – CR 166-1672 – was shipped over to the H.R. Select Committee On Assassinations sometime in 1976–1979. While the file was sent to the committee in the belief that Glaser had known Jack 'Sparky' Rubenstein, better known as Jack Ruby, from his Chicago days, that file revealed that Glaser was still doing some boxing promotion as late as 1966, representing Ernie Terrell in his 1966 boxing match against the then Cassius Clay.[9] He was key to the career of Clarence Avant.


  1. ^ Obituary, New York Times, May 17, 1969, p. 33; "Joseph G. Glaser Is Dead at 72; Booking Agent For Many Stars," New York Times, June 8, 1969, p. 92
  2. ^ "Satchmo Remembers the Big Magaffa," Los Angeles Times, June 22, 1969, p. G44.
  3. ^ Bergreen, Laurence, "Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life", page 374
  4. ^ Teachout, Terry (November 2009). "Satchmo and the Jews". Commentary. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  5. ^ Fax, Tayla (April 14, 2016). "The Secret Jewish History of Louis Armstrong". The Forward.
  6. ^ Cohen, Jane; Grossweiner, Bob (10 February 2006). "Industry Profile: Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation". Celebrity Access.
  7. ^ Cohen, Jane; Grossweiner, Bob (10 February 2006). "Industry Profile: Lisa Cohen, Associated Booking Corporation". Celebrity Access.
  8. ^ "Associated Booking Corporation". Bizapedia. 16 October 2015.
  9. ^ "FBI – HSCA Subject File: Joe Glaser". Mary Ferrell Foundation.

Further reading[edit]