Monday, March 25, 2013

Glen Campbell, 1963

I recently re-read my 2009 and 2008 posts about musician Glen Campbell (not to be confused with others who have the same name). The earlier post opens with the following words:

Glen Campbell has had a varied career.

When you've been involved in acts ranging from the Champs to the Beach Boys, and when you've covered Green Day as a small part of your successful recording career, it's difficult to pigeonhole you into those categories that some in the music industry like. But Campbell is no pigeon.

Part of the difficulty in pigeonholing Campbell is that he emerged in an era before the pigeons were caged. It's hard to separate between country and rock when the stars of the time were equally comfortable in either genre. When the Beatles issued their most famous single ("Yesterday"), a Buck Owens song was on the other side ("Act Naturally").

A couple of years before "Yesterday," Glen Campbell appeared as a backing guitarist and singer on a TV show called "Star Route," accompanying George Morgan on the song "My Window Faces the South."

During the instrumental break, the band members take turns on various solos. Campbell's guitar solo comes last, and he treats the audience to a rockabilly-country lick festival.

But a musician has to eat, so one year later, Campbell adopted a Beatles haircut and appeared on Shindig.

Ignore the screaming girls and the haircut for a moment. Campbell's music doesn't sound all that different from his appearance with George Morgan.

I was unable to find a video of Campbell's touring days with the Beach Boys, but when you think about it, that music was similar in sound also - except perhaps for the vocal arrangements, which of course were not unique to surf and car music.

As to why Campbell's hit records from later in the decade were more countrypolitan than I said, a musician has to eat. Do you think a rockabilly song would go over in 1969?

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