Tuesday, August 08, 2017

RIP Glen Campbell

"Wichita Lineman" was one of the first songs I remember hearing coming from my sister's little AM radio.  She had it tuned to Top 40 stations, and in late '68 that song was a big hit.  It has stuck with me decades later.  The song is certainly one of the greatest arranged records.  It's haunting and Campbell's delivery and bass solo are perfect.

Then there was the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, which ran from 69-72.  My parents watched these type of music variety shows (the Johnny Cash & Tom Jones shows also), and I remember seeing the Campbell show quite often.  In fact, my Dad had a couple of his 8-track's that got played often around the house.

Campbell's classic period from 67-77 was also the peak years for the genre called Countrypolitan.  In other words, Country music with traces of Pop/strings/Orchestration, etc.  Purists weren't amused, but the records have outlasted them.  And Campbell, along with Charlie Rich, Anne Murray, etc. was at the forefront of it.

After 1978, Campbell's Pop hits dried up, but throughout the 80's he charted many Top 40 Country hits.  In the decades after, the records slowed down, but in 2008 & 2011 he made two strong albums. The 2014 documentary was often quite heartbreaking as it showed Campbell in the early stages of Alzheimer's and on his farewell tour.

I've been advocating Campbell for a Rock Hall slot for a few years.  He's not only a strong candidate in the performer category, but also as a Musical Excellence pick.  The credentials are there:  his many Pop/Country hits plus his work with the Wrecking Crew in the mid-60's.  And don't forget touring with the Beach Boys during that time.

Below are 20 of my favorite Glen Campbell songs spanning the 60's to the 2010's.

1.  Wichita Lineman
2.  Rhinestone Cowboy
3.  By The Time I Get To Phoenix
4.  Galveston
5.  Gentle On My Mind
6.  Southern Nights
7.  Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.)
8.  Try A Little Kindness
9.  Dreams of the Everyday Housewife
10.  Guess I'm Dumb
11.  Hand That Rocks The Cradle (w/Steve Wariner)
12.  True Grit
13.  Still Within The Sound Of My Voice
14.  Honey Come Back
15.  It's Only Make Believe
16.  Can You Fool
17.  Bonaparte's Retreat
18.  Highwayman
19.  Sunflower
20.  These Days

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