"When Glenn Yarbrough first rolled into the halls of old St. Paul's, he immediately earned the title of the well-rounded St. Paul's boy," reads Glenn's senior page in the 1948 Crusader yearbook. "After establishing himself as soloist of the choir and later of the glee club and the quartet, Glenn's voice has resounded throughout the campus for the past six years."
Glenn forged a renowned career as a folk singer and, later, as a mariner who sailed around the world. After performing in Korea and Japan with the U.S. Army, he started a solo career and in 1959 co-founded the Limeliters, a folk group in which he sang vocals. A New York Times review of a 1961 concert noted that "Mr. Yarbrough's fine lyric voice had body, warmth and a lush vibrato that made (his songs) touching. Mr. Yarbrough is a top-flite vocalist."
According to his August 16, 2016, obituary in the New York Times, Glenn left the Limeliters in 1963 to spend the next decade at sea, but his RCA Victor record label prevailed upon him to record solo albums, which garnered great success. His hit single, "Baby the Rain Must Fall," was the title song of the 1965 film that starred Steve McQueen and Lee Remick—with Glen Campbell appearing as one of McQueen's bandmates. "Baby the Rain Must Fall," arranged by Bread lead singer David Gates, in 1965 reached #12 on Billboard Top 100 and #2 on the adult contemporary chart.
Glenn was the voice of 1960's "Things Go Better With Coke!" television ads, and in 1977 sang the musical numbers for the animated TV film, "The Hobbit."
Glenn grew to dislike the fame that accompanied his status as an entertainer, so he sold his homes, fancy cars and banana plantation in Jamaica and founded a school for disadvantaged African American students in Los Angeles. As he told a San Francisco newspaper in 1966, "I got into entertainment by accident...I got to thinking about why I was still doing something I didn't want to do very much, and about what I could do to make it meaningful."
For three decades Glenn sailed the high seas, returning periodically to perform "when his finances were at ebb tide," according to the Times. He lived for some years in Mexico, growing fruit and vegetables for the needy. Though Glenn died in August of 2016 at age 86, the St. Paul's School for Boys Alumni Association was pleased to acknowledge both his success in music and his commitment to social justice with his selection that year as an Outstanding Alumnus.
Glenn performs "Baby The Rain Must Fall," on Hollywood A-Go-Go, 1965 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBfIaFr2Jfg
Limeliters TV Coke Commercial, 1963