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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