The Friday 5×2: RIP Glen Campbell

You have by now heard that Country music star and guitar legend Glen Campbell died Tuesday after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease that started in 2011. I chose a few of his songs that I especially like, some of which I’ve featured here before, all of which show his virtuosity as a performer and guitarist.

  1. Mull of Kintyre The first song doesn’t feature his guitar playing, but his ability on another instrument, the Great Highland Bagpipe. Written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine, it was Wings’ biggest hit in Britain during the Christmas season of 1977.
  2. Rhinestone Cowboy Recorded and released in 1975, this caught on with both Country (#1) and Pop (#1 Hot 100, #1 Hot Contemporary Singles) and is one of his best-known songs.
  3. Wichita Lineman By Jimmy Webb, Glen’s recording topped the Country and Adult Contemporary charts and peaked at #4 on the Hot 100. Personally, I like this version better than the original single, without the strings in the background.
  4. Gentle On My Mind Written by John Hartford, this won four Grammys in 1968, two by Hartford, the other two by Glen Campbell. This performance on The Nashville Network is significant because of all the performers on the stage with him, including Roy Clark, Chet Atkins, George Lindsey, Crystal Gayle, Ray Stevens, Merle Haggard, and a whole bunch more I don’t recognize or wasn’t fast enough to catch. His guitar solo in this one is superb.
  5. I Remember You I’ve wanted to put this one in a playlist in the worst way, because Glen’s performance is just lovely, but felt it was too cruel an irony.
  6. Galveston My buddy Mark says this is one of his favorites, because it was one of the first songs he learned on the piano. It’s a great song, written by Jimmy Webb. Glen recorded it with members of The Wrecking Crew and released it in 1969.
  7. Try A Little Kindness Another one from 1969, written by Curt Sapaugh and Bobby Austin. It reached #1 on the Easy Listening chart, #2 on the Country chart, and #23 on the Hot 100 in 1969.
  8. Southern Nights Title track from his 1977 album, it reached #1 on the Hot 100, Adult Contemporart, and Country charts.
  9. I’m Not Gonna Miss You Recorded around the time he learned he had Alzheimer’s, it was the last song Glen recorded. It received the 2015 Grammy for Best Country Song.
  10. Adios Posted just a few days ago. Glen sings, but the stars of the video are his children. It’s a moving tribute to his legacy.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and eight children.

That’s The Friday 5×2 for August 11, 2017.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “I Remember You” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

My last battle pitted country singer and guitarist extraordinaire Glen Campbell against the lovely vocal stylings of Miss June Christy. The song was the Victor Schertzinger-Johnny Mercer classic, “I Remember You,” a jazz and country standard I usually identify with British country singer Frank Ifield (Glen’s version sounded a lot like Frank’s, didn’t it?), who had a big hit with it in 1962 on both sides of the pond. The votes are in and have been tabulated, and here is the result.

Glen Campbell: 7
June Christy: 4

This was a lot closer than I thought. As the results trickled in, it looked as though Glen was running away with it, but June more than held her own. Congratulations to Glen, and kudos to Miss Christy for making this a real contest.

The next scheduled Battle of the Bands will be Friday, July 1. Brother Kip gave me several suggestions, and I think I’ll use one of his. See you then!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “I Remember You”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

“I Remember You” was written in 1941 by Victor Schertzinger, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Mercer had a crush on Judy Garland, who was set to marry David Rose, and he presented her with the song on her wedding day. It was used in the 1942 movie The Fleet’s In which starred Dorothy Lamour, Eddie Bracken, William Holden, and Betty Hutton.

Maybe the most popular version of the song was done in 1962 by British country singer Frank Ifield. His version went to #1 and stayed there for seven weeks and sold over a million copies in the UK alone, and reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Easy Listening Charts in the US. It was originally issued on Gary, Indiana’s Vee Jay label, so he was a labelmate with The Beatles and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Here’s his version, for reference purposes only; it’s not one of the contestants.

The song is both a jazz and country standard. It’s been done by jazz players Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, and Tal Farlow, and country artists such as Slim Whitman (as you might expect) and John Denver. I’ve chosen a sample of both styles for you to choose from, so if you’re quite ready…

CONTESTANT #1: Glen Campbell

Glen covered the song on his 1987 album Still Within The Sound Of My Voice. It rose to #32 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1988.

CONTESTANT #2: June Christy

June wrapped her lovely voice around this standard on the 1958 album The Song Is June!, backed by the Pete Rugolo Orchestra.

Now, it’s time to vote…

So, which did you prefer? Glen Campbell’s countryfied version, influenced by Frank Ifield but with his own touches, or June Christy’s presentation of this standard? Leave me a comment and tell me which one you liked better. I’ll tally the votes and publish the results on Wednesday, June 22.

Then, how about visiting some of today’s other battles? All or some of these blogs have battles today:

Tossing It Out
StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands *
Your Daily Dose
Mike’s Ramblings
Curious as a Cathy
DC Relief – Battle of the Bands
ReInVintaged
Book Lover
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Shady Dell Music & Memories
Debbie D. at The Doglady’s Den
Angels Bark
Jingle Jangle Jungle
Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli’s Hoots ‘n’ Hollers
J. A. Scott
Quiet Laughter
NovelBrews

* Check Stephen’s blog for further updates to this list!

Once again, results will be announced next Wednesday, June 22. Best of luck to Glen and June!

Programming Note

The other day I posted a video of Glen Campbell on The Tonight Show, a night where Jay Leno (still with dark hair) was substituting for Johnny. In the video, Glen was singing Frank Ifield’s “I Remember You.”

It wasn’t until after I had posted it that I realized, as Glen is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, there was more than a touch of irony to the clip, but he did such a beautiful job of the song, I chose to leave it up. However, the poster of the video removed it, maybe sensing that the irony was in bad taste. Accordingly, I’ve also removed the post with it.

Say a prayer for Glen. From what I understand, he’s in a long-term care facility and is no longer able to speak for himself.

I featured Glen on Two for Tuesday on September 12, 2012.