Found Performance – “Galveston” by Glen Campbell


The early releases of “Gentle On My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Hey Little One,” “I Wanna Live,” and “Wichita Lineman” gave a glimpse into the amazing talent that was to be Glen Campbell. When Galveston was released in 1969, it was easy to see that Campbell had arrived. Anybody who didn’t hear this song on the radio was either in solitary confinement or dead: It went to #1 on the Country Chart, #1 on the Easy Listening Chart, and to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The record was certified gold by the RIAA in October 1969.

“Galveston,” which grabbed the emotions of the country at the height of the Vietnam War, was written by Jimmy Webb — a prolific songwriter who penned many hit songs including Campbell’s “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” and “MacArthur Park” which was a hit for Richard Harris.

The studio recording of “Galveston” was backed by Hollywood’s famous Wrecking Crew. The Wrecking Crew, without any of us knowing at the time, played the instruments on many of the top hits of the ’60s and ’70s. Not coincidentally, Campbell himself was one of the most respected musicians in the Wrecking Crew, until he broke out on his own and became a an internationally famous superstar. Other Campbell hits would follow in the decades to come including his signature song “Rhinestone Cowboy” and the smash “Southern Nights,” written by the late New Orleans master musician Allen Toussaint. Campbell passed away in the summer of 2017. This performance is from Glen’s TV show (1969-’72) “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.”

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Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

13 thoughts on “Found Performance – “Galveston” by Glen Campbell

  1. During the late 60s and early 70s, I kinda dismissed Glen, as being some sort of crossover-music dude from Country Musicland–which I did not like much…but his hits were so smoothly recorded, I just had to listen anyway!…He came along at a time when FM, “heavy” music was the thing…Anyway, I found out a couple of decades later that Glen was an absolute “ace” on guitar!…and he had spent time on that famous Wrecking Crew group of excellent musicians…wow…even David Gates, of Bread fame, had emerged from that pool of talent!…and Carol Kay, a divorced mother of two, and an excellent bass player, was also a big part of that scene!…she was born in Everett, Washington!…There is a fine documentary about the Wrecking Crew, on youtube….I am old, but still learning things about the music I grew up with.

    1. Jack…I saw the premier of that movie, at least in Canada, at a Vancouver theater several years back. Young Tedesco was there. Good movie and FREE at youtube… I think they stick in some spots. Lots of nostalgia and rare clips.

    2. Wichita Lineman is one of two Glen Campbell tunes I’d put on my Desert Island Disc. The other is a cut from “Big Bluegrass Special”, a Capitol LP I bought in 1962 by a group called The Green River Boys with the subtitle “Featuring Glen Campbell”. KOL played it for a few weeks. That was the first song I ever heard Glen sing, “Kentucky Means Paradise”, written and released by Merle Travis in 1947. It spent five weeks on Billboard’s country chart, peaking at #20.

      Check it out. It’s a dandy!

  2. Saw him perform in Reno during the Tanya Tucker years. She was there. I was a fan but not blown away by his live show. My favorite show was the rescheduled Eagles in the Tacoma dome, followed by The Charlie Daniels Band. Charlie Daniels knew how to perform!
    One of the craziest had to be Led Zepplin in the Seattle Center not yet Key Arena. Those guys were lit! Moody Blues are to be the best musicians I’ve ever witnessed!

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