Posts Tagged ‘Glen Campbell’

Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #39 – Glen Campbell: “Wichita Lineman” b/w “Galveston” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL 6093 (S4/T4)

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Song of the Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #39 – Glen Campbell: “Wichita Lineman” b/w “Galveston” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL 6093 (S4/T4)

Glen Campbell’s long, storied career is Forrest Gump-like in its nature. He was a member of The Champs, who sent the hit “Tequila” up the charts (before he joined them). He was part of The Wrecking Crew, the West Coast studio elite session musicians who played on literally hundreds of hits during the 1960s by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, The Monkees, The 5th Dimension, Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys and Elvis Presley, to name but a few. He was also a touring member of The Beach Boys replacing Brian Wilson on the road in 1964-1965, and playing on the group’s masterpiece Pet Sounds.

He’s a recording artist in his own rite that has sold millions of records and won countless Grammy, Country Music Association and Academy Of Country Music Awards. He’s also a member of the Country Hall Of Fame and was a popular TV host of his own Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour variety show whose connections in the music industry allowed him to feature top-shelf musical guests including The Beatles (on film), The Monkees, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and dozens of others. He was also a movie star who shared the screen with John Wayne in the film True Grit.

Today’s jukebox classic is a double-shot of Jimmy Webb-penned classics performed by Glen Campbell. The A-side of today’s jukebox single (if you can actually delegate A & B sides to two songs this strong) is “Wichita Lineman,” a million-selling #3 hit from 1968. The song was written by Jimmy Webb who also wrote classic sixties hits like “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “Up-Up And Away” and “MacArthur Park.”

Webb’s inspiration for the song came from a drive he took through the telephone pole-lined roads of Washita County, Oklahoma. As he passed through an endless stream of telephone poles, he noticed a single county lineman in the distance working atop one of the poles. He saw the man as a picture of loneliness, which got him reflecting back on a failed relationship he had with a woman who also served as the inspiration for his song “MacArthur Park.” Webb placed himself on top of the pole speaking into the telephone receiver for the song.

Webb: “I’ve never worked with high-tension wires or anything like that. My characters were all ordinary guys. They were all blue-collar guys who did ordinary jobs…They came from places like Galveston and Wichita and places like that…I (had) a very specific image of a guy I saw working up on the wires out in the Oklahoma panhandle one time with a telephone in his hand talking to somebody. And this exquisite aesthetic balance of all these telephone poles just decreasing in size as they got further and further away from the viewer – that being me – and as I passed him, he began to diminish in size. The country is so flat, it was like this one quick snapshot of this guy rigged up on a pole with this telephone in his hand. And this song came about, really, from wondering what that was like, what it would be like to be working up on a telephone pole and what would you be talking about? Was he talking to his girlfriend? Probably just doing one of those checks where they called up and said, ‘Mile marker 46,’ you know. ‘Everything’s working so far.’” (SongFacts.com)

The song’s orchestral swells were created by Al DeLory to reflect the shimmering sound of the wind “singing through the wires” atop the poles. The musicians playing on the track were all Wrecking Crew stalwarts including Campbell, Al Casey and James Burton on guitar, Carol Kaye on bass, Jim Gordon on drums and Al DeLory on piano. It has been covered by the likes of Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis, Robert Goulet, Andy Williams, Bobby Goldsboro, Engelbert Humperdink, Jose Feliciano, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, James Taylor and R.E.M.

On the flip is Campbell’s take on an anti-war song that Jimmy Webb wrote while hanging out on the beaches of Galveston, Texas. It came to Campbell’s attention via Hawaiian singer Don Ho, who recorded a version of the song that was released as the flip side of his “Has Anybody Lost A Love” single in 1968. When Ho appeared on Campbell’s Goodtime Hour TV show in 1969, he gave him a copy of his recording of the song and suggested that he give it a whirl in the studio.

When Campbell recorded the song, he changed the lyrics, replacing the line “Wonder if she could forget me, I’d go home if they would let me, put down this gun and go to Galveston” with “I still hear your sea waves crashing/as I watch the cannons flashing/ I clean my gun/And dream of Galveston.”

Campbell’s version climbed to #4 on the Billboard Pop Charts, and topped the Country and Easy Listening charts in 1969. It also sold over a million copies. “Galveston” was the title track of his 1969 album of the same name which topped the Country Charts and charted at #2 pop. Like his previous album, the musicians included such Wrecking Crew stalwarts as Campbell and Al Casey on guitar, Hal Blaine and Bob Felts on drums, Jo Osborne on bass and Dennis McCarthy on piano.

Currently Campbell is battling Alzheimer’s disease. After completing his final album, he took to the road several years ago. The exceptional documentary I’ll Be Me follows him on his last tour before retiring for good.

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Edited: June 7th, 2015

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “East Of Ginger Trees” by Seals & Crofts

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “East Of Ginger Trees” by Seals & Crofts

The duo of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were one of the most successful soft rock groups of the 1970s. The duo hailed from Texas and after gigging around they both joined The Champs of “Tequila” fame as touring members of the group.

Glen Campbell was also a member of the group and the three of them left and formed the group Glen Campbell and the GC’s. After the demise of the GC’s, Seals & Crofts decided to go it alone as a duo with Seals on guitar, violin and saxophone and Crofts on guitar and mandolin. It was around this time they began to follow the Baha’i Faith.

After releasing several albums that didn’t go anywhere, they finally hit with the album Summer Breeze in 1972 that properly highlighted their heavenly harmonies and songwriting chops. The title track became a top-ten hit, but the album also included such gems as “Hummingbird” and today’s Song Of The Day.

From there, the sky was the limit with the hits “Diamond Girl,” “Get Closer,” “We May Never Pass This Way (Again)” and “Hummingbird.” While I was a huge fan of their records, the duo lost me with the release of the 1974 album Unborn Child and it’s stance against abortion. They broke up in 1980 and have reformed sporadically over the years. They are long overdue for a reunion.

 

Edited: June 17th, 2014

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #39 – Glen Campbell: “Wichita Lineman” b/w “Galveston” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL 6093 (S4/T4)

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Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – The Jukebox Series #39 – Glen Campbell: “Wichita Lineman” b/w “Galveston” – Collectables 45 RPM Single COL 6093 (S4/T4)

“The Jukebox Series” focuses on the 80 records that inhabit my 1963 Seeburg LPC1 jukebox. I’ve had my jukebox (or as I like to call it “the prehistoric iPod”) for a little over twelve years and in that time I’d like to think that I’ve perfected the mix of 45s within.

Glen Campbell’s long, storied career is Forrest Gump-like in its nature. He was a member of The Champs, who sent the hit “Tequila” up the charts (before he joined them). He was also part of The Wrecking Crew, the West Coast studio elite session musicians who played on literally hundreds of hits during the 1960s by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, The Monkees, The 5th Dimension, Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys and Elvis Presley, to name but a few. He was also a touring member of The Beach Boys replacing Brian Wilson on the road in 1964-5, and playing on the group’s masterpiece Pet Sounds.

He’s a recording artist in his own rite that has sold millions of records and won countless Grammy, Country Music Association and Academy Of Country Music Awards. He’s also a member of the Country Hall Of Fame and was a popular TV host of his own Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour variety show whose connections in the music industry allowed him to feature top-shelf musical guests including The Beatles (on film), The Monkees, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and dozens of others. He was also a movie star who shared the screen with John Wayne in the film True Grit.

Today’s jukebox classic is a double-shot of Jimmy Webb-penned classics performed by Glen Campbell. The A-side of today’s jukebox single (if you can actually delegate A & B sides to two songs this strong) is “Wichita Lineman,” a million-selling #3 hit from 1968.  The song was written by Jimmy Webb who also wrote classic sixties hits like “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “Up-Up And Away” and “MacArthur Park.”

Webb’s inspiration for the song came from a drive he took through the telephone pole-lined roads of Washita County, Oklahoma. As he passed through an endless stream of telephone poles, he noticed a single county lineman in the distance working atop one of the poles. He saw the man as a picture of loneliness, which got him reflecting back on a failed relationship he had with a woman who also served as the inspiration for his song “MacArthur Park.” Webb placed himself on top of the pole speaking into the telephone receiver for the song.

Webb: “I’ve never worked with high-tension wires or anything like that. My characters were all ordinary guys. They were all blue-collar guys who did ordinary jobs…They came from places like Galveston and Wichita and places like that…I (had) a very specific image of a guy I saw working up on the wires out in the Oklahoma panhandle one time with a telephone in his hand talking to somebody. And this exquisite aesthetic balance of all these telephone poles just decreasing in size as they got further and further away from the viewer – that being me – and as I passed him, he began to diminish in size. The country is so flat, it was like this one quick snapshot of this guy rigged up on a pole with this telephone in his hand. And this song came about, really, from wondering what that was like, what it would be like to be working up on a telephone pole and what would you be talking about? Was he talking to his girlfriend? Probably just doing one of those checks where they called up and said, ‘Mile marker 46,’ you know. ‘Everything’s working so far.’” (Song Facts)

The song’s orchestral swells were created by Al DeLory to reflect the shimmering sound of the wind “singing through the wires” atop the poles. The musicians playing on the track were all Wrecking Crew stalwarts including Campbell, Al Casey and James Burton on guitar, Carol Kaye on bass, Jim Gordon on drums and Al DeLory  on piano. It has been covered by the likes of Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis, Robert Goulet, Andy Williams, Bobby Goldsboro, Engelbert Humperdink, Jose Feliciano, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, James Taylor and R.E.M.

On the flip is Campbell’s take on an anti-war song that Jimmy Webb wrote while hanging out on the beaches of Galveston, Texas.  It came to Campbell’s attention via Hawaiian singer Don Ho, who recorded a version of the song that was released as the flip side of his “Has Anybody Lost A Love” single in 1968. When Ho appeared on Campbell’s Goodtime Hour TV show in 1969, he gave him a copy of his recording of the song and suggested that he give it a whirl in the studio.

When Campbell recorded the song, he changed the lyrics, replacing the line “Wonder if she could forget me, I’d go home if they would let me, put down this gun and go to Galveston” with “I still hear your sea waves crashing/as I watch the cannons flashing/ I clean my gun/And dream of Galveston.”

Campbell’s version climbed to #4 on the Billboard Pop Charts, and topped the Country and Easy Listening charts in 1969. It also sold over a million copies. “Galveston” was the title track of his 1969 album of the same name which topped the Country Charts and charted at #2 pop. Like his previous album, the musicians included such Wrecking Crew stalwarts as Campbell and Al Casey on guitar, Hal Blaine and Bob Felts on drums, Jo Osborne on bass and Dennis McCarthy on piano.

Currently Campbell is battling Alzheimer’s disease. After completing his final album, he took to the road this past summer one last time before retiring for good.

Edited: December 4th, 2013

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – 6/25/12

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “East Of Ginger Trees” by Seals & Crofts

The duo of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were one of the most successful soft rock groups of the 1970s. The duo hailed from Texas and after gigging around they both joined The Champs of “Tequila” fame as touring members of the group. Glen Campbell was also a member of the group and the three of them left and formed the group Glen Campbell and the GC’s. After the demise of the GC’s, Seals & Crofts decided to go it alone as a duo with Seals on guitar, violin and saxophone and Crofts on guitar and mandolin. It was around this time they began to follow the Baha’i Faith. After releasing several albums that didn’t go anywhere, they finally hit with the album “Summer Breeze” that properly highlighted their heavenly harmonies and songwriting chops. The title track became a top-ten hit, but the album also included such gems as the song “Hummingbird” and this one. From there, the sky was the limit with the hits “Diamond Girl,” “Get Closer,” “We May Never Pass This Way (Again)” and “Hummingbird.” While I was a huge fan of their records, the duo lost me with the release of the 1974 album “Unborn Child” and it’s stance against abortion. They broke up in 1980 and have reformed sporadically over the years. They are long overdue for a reunion.

Edited: June 24th, 2012

Song Of The Day – 9/7/11

Song Of The Day – “The Rest Is Silence/There Is No Me…Without You” by Glen Campbell

Glen taps into his inner Beatles and Beach Boys on this track from his latest album, “Ghost On The Canvas.” The record is being marketed as his last record ever due to his illness with Alzheimer’s disease. If it is, he’s going out on a high. Check out the guitar solo on this one, eerily close to “Something” by The Beatles.

Edited: September 7th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 6/20/11

Song Of The Day – “Walls” by Glen Campbell

In a musical world rife with comebacks and reformations that are letdowns at best, comes a welcome return in the form of the 2008 album “Meet Glen Campbell.”  When paired with a collection of fine songs including this Tom Petty cover, Campbell became relevant again almost overnight. His takes on tunes by Lou Reed, The Replacements, John Lennon and Bono aren’t bad either.

Edited: June 20th, 2011

Song Of The Day – 1/13/11

Song Of The Day – “Ann” by Glen Campbell from the album “Wichita Lineman”

Glen Campbell cut his teeth as an in-demand Los Angeles session guitarist playing on countless hits by The Monkees, The Mamas & The Papas, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.  He became a touring member of the Beach Boys in 1965 when Brian Wilson could not go on the road anymore, leaving in 1967 to continue his own solo career and to launch a variety show on TV.  Of course, we all know the myriad of hits he’s scored on his own…”Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Gentle On My Mind,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “Rhinestone Cowboy”…to name but a few. This 1968 album cut was written by country artist Billy Ed Wheeler, and while not a chart hit, is considered one of Campbell’s classics.

Edited: January 13th, 2011