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The Rhinestone Cowboy’s Top Ten


The other night, I was sitting on my back patio enjoying a cool Misawa night and writing as my computer played a random shuffle of tunes from my playlists. As I wrote and listened, the Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb tune “If These Walls Could Speak” filled the chilly air and caused me to pause. I paused because the song is brilliant. My thoughts turned nostalgic and sad. I thought of family long gone. I thought of my wife and how I need to tell her I love her more and cherish her. I thought of friends. And then I thought of legendary musician Glen Campbell. He lost his fight with Alzheimers in 2017, but had the courage to document his last few years in a splendid, yet tragically sad documentary titled “I’ll Be Me”. As I thought about Glen, I came up with my top ten songs to honor and celebrate him as a musician.

  1. If These Walls Could Speak
  2. Rhinestone Cowboy
  3. Galveston
  4. Wichita Lineman
  5. Gentle on My Mind
  6. Funny How Time Slips Away
  7. By the Time I Get to Phoenix
  8. These Days
  9. The Highwayman
  10. Adiós

Most of us have heard and loved a song with Glen Campbell’s fingerprints on it and probably didn’t even know he had a hand in its creation. A grammy winning musician, movie star, and TV host, Glen Campbell’s music is known all over the world. It was no easy task to compile a top ten list of his material, writing collaborations, and duets due to an extensive amount of great material. And when you add his contributions to other musicians as a member of a group of studio musicians called The Wrecking Crew in the sixties, the list becomes endless! Glen played for Elvis, Merle Haggard, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin to name a few. Many of music’s biggest hits had help from Glen Campbell. In 1963 Glen played on The Ronettes big single “Be My Baby” and played guitar for Elvis on the album Viva Las Vegas. He kept the string of hits going in 1964 when he played on “Don’t Worry Baby” for the Beach Boys, Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody”,  and The Righteous Brothers’ top single “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’ “. In 1965, Glen was back in the studio with The Beach Boys to record the album Pet Sounds, which included the hit “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, and later that same year played guitar on their hit singles “Help Me Rhonda”, “Good Vibrations”, and “California Girls”. Before 1965 was over, Glen lended his musical talent to The Mamas & the Papas on the hit single “California Dreamin’ “. In 1966, Glen was back at it on Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” and The Monkees “I’m a Believer”.  And at some point in 1969 he found the time to act in one of my favorite westerns along side one of my favorite cowboys: True Grit with John Wayne. Now that is an impressive list of accomplishments even before he became the Rhinestone Cowboy!

© 2019 Gregory Vessar. All Rights Reserved.

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Categories: Family, MusicTags: , , ,

5 comments

  1. That #1 choice is a brilliant one. Where’d you hear that first?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve picked up a couple of Campbell albums but largely as a Jimmy Webb fan – I think there are six Webb tunes on your list!

    Liked by 1 person

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