Glen Campbell Session Musician / Guitarist Extraordinaire!
Glen Campbell will be remembered for his beautiful voice and his hit songs – Rhinestone Cowboy and Wichita Lineman- but in the guitar playing world he is celebrated as a legendary session guitarist!
He has played guitar on many music stars songs from Elvis Presley to the Beach Boys to Frank Sinatra.
Glen was part of a studio session group called The Wrecking Crew who were the music recording industry go to music crew for literally thousands of songs in the 1960’s.
The Wrecking Crew featured on many hits songs.
The wrecking crew associated acts are a who’s who of 1960’s top musical talent.
They also formed an integral part of Phil Spector’s much famed ‘Wall of Sound’ pioneering production techniques.
The Wrecking Crew got their name because they were seen as rock and roll upstarts by the older, established musicians.
So for any of you who just know Glen for the tremendous career that he had in his own right, you might be surprised to learn that he cut his music teeth as a much sought after session guitarist.
Take a look at some of the classic songs which features Glenn’s guitar playing.
Some might surprise you!
Click the link below for the mind blowing, online backing track tool that lets you play these HIT songs as if you were in the band!
We cant wait to see your video performances on Facebook!
You might even go viral with your guitar performances!
Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas
Frank Sinatra - Strangers in The night
I'm a Believer - The Monkees
I get Around - The Beach Boys
Righteous Brothers - Lost that loving feeling
Glen Campbell and The Guitar
A Guitar Virtuoso and His Love for the Instrument
Glen Campbell, known for his stellar career as a singer and musician, had a profound love for the guitar.
The instrument played a significant role in shaping his music and personal identity.
From his humble beginnings in rural Arkansas to his rise as a country-pop icon, the guitar remained a constant companion, and his skilful playing left a lasting impression on generations of musicians.
Early Musical Influences and Guitar Heroes
Glen Campbell’s passion for the guitar was sparked at a young age, fueled by the musical environment in his family.
His early influences included Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis, whose unique playing styles and techniques inspired Campbell to develop his own approach to the instrument.
His family’s support and encouragement played a crucial role in nurturing his musical talent.
Glen Campbell's Guitar Technique
Campbell’s guitar playing was characterized by his effortless mastery of fingerpicking and flatpicking techniques.
He was heavily influenced by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, blending their styles into a seamless and expressive approach that became his signature.
His versatility allowed him to effortlessly transition between intricate fingerpicking patterns and powerful flatpicked solos, making his guitar playing a standout element in his music
Signature Guitars: The Ovation and the G-Models
Throughout his career, Glen Campbell developed a strong partnership with Ovation Guitars, using their instruments both on stage and in the studio.
He helped design the signature Glen Campbell G-Models, which featured customized specifications tailored to his playing style.
These guitars boasted distinctive looks and sounds, becoming an iconic part of his musical identity. Check out the video of the Ovation in action in this guitar duet with the legendary Jerry Reed!
The Wrecking Crew: Mastering the Guitar in Studio Sessions
As a member of the legendary Wrecking Crew, a group of top-tier session musicians in the 1960s, Campbell honed his guitar skills by playing on countless hit records.
This experience not only refined his technique but also exposed him to various musical styles, broadening his artistic palette.
His work with the Wrecking Crew showcased his incredible versatility and mastery of the guitar.
Glen Campbell's Live Performances: Showcasing Guitar Prowess
Campbell’s live performances provided a platform for him to demonstrate his guitar prowess, often engaging in impromptu solos or duels with other musicians.
His concerts captivated audiences with his virtuosic playing, and his collaborations with fellow guitar legends, such as Jerry Reed and Roy Clark, showcased his ability to hold his own against the best in the business.
Celebrating the Life and Music of Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell: his origins
Glen Campbell, born in 1936 in Billstown, Arkansas, was one of the most successful and versatile musicians of his time.
Raised in a family of twelve children, he found solace in music, learning to play the guitar at a young age.
Campbell’s personal life saw him marrying four times and fathering eight children.
His storied career spanned over five decades, earning him numerous accolades, including Grammy Awards and a Country Music Hall of Fame induction.
Glen Campbell's Musical Journey
Campbell started his career as a member of the renowned Wrecking Crew, a group of talented session musicians who contributed to numerous hit records during the 1960s.
His solo career took off with the release of his 1962 debut album, “Big Bluegrass Special.”
Over the years, Campbell proved his versatility by exploring various genres, including country, pop, rock, and folk, releasing over 70 albums and scoring more than 80 hit singles.
The Rhinestone Cowboy Era
In 1975, Campbell released “Rhinestone Cowboy,” which became one of his most iconic and successful songs.
The track resonated with fans for its catchy tune and heartfelt lyrics about making it in the music business.
The song’s success catapulted Campbell to superstardom and cemented his status as a country music legend.
Acting and Television Career
Glen Campbell’s talents extended beyond music, as he showcased his acting and hosting abilities on television and in film.
From 1969 to 1972, he hosted the popular variety show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” which featured musical performances, comedy skits, and guest appearances by prominent celebrities.
Campbell also made notable appearances in films such as “True Grit” (1969) and “Norwood” (1970).
Collaborations and Duets
Throughout his career, Campbell collaborated with several renowned musicians and songwriters.
His partnership with Jimmy Webb produced iconic hits such as “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” and “Galveston.”
Campbell also shared the stage and recorded duets with fellow icons like Johnny Cash, Bobbie Gentry, and Anne Murray, creating memorable live performances and recordings.
Glen Campbell's Struggle with Alzheimer's
In 2011, Campbell publicly announced his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, a progressive neurological condition that affects memory and cognitive function.
Despite the challenges, he embarked on a farewell tour, documented in the critically acclaimed film, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.”
Campbell’s brave battle with Alzheimer’s raised awareness about the disease and inspired advocacy for research and support.
Tributes and Honors
Glen Campbell’s incredible career earned him numerous awards and honors, including ten Grammy Awards, multiple Academy of Country Music Awards, and three American Music Awards.
In 2005, he was deservedly inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Following his death in 2017, fellow musicians paid tribute to his life and work through cover versions, concerts, and heartfelt messages.
Glen Campbell's Legacy
Campbell’s unique blend of country, pop, rock, and folk has left a lasting impression on the music industry, inspiring countless artists who followed in his footsteps.
His timeless appeal and masterful musicianship continue to captivate new generations of fans. Glen Campbell’s undeniable impact on the world of music will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.
Top 10 Glen Campbell Songs to Remember
“Gentle on My Mind” (1967) This classic John Hartford-penned tune showcases Campbell’s fingerpicking prowess and became one of his signature songs. It won four Grammy Awards and remains a timeless piece of country-pop music.
“By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (1967) Written by Jimmy Webb, this song is a beautiful example of Campbell’s emotive singing and his ability to tell a story through music. It has since become a standard in the pop and country genres.
“Wichita Lineman” (1968) Another Jimmy Webb composition, “Wichita Lineman” is a haunting and evocative ballad featuring Campbell’s heartfelt vocals and skillful guitar work. It remains one of his most beloved and enduring hits.
“Galveston” (1969) This patriotic and nostalgic song, also penned by Jimmy Webb, showcases Campbell’s versatility as he sings about a soldier longing for his hometown. The track has been covered by numerous artists, but Campbell’s version remains a classic.
“Rhinestone Cowboy” (1975) Arguably Campbell’s most famous song, “Rhinestone Cowboy” is an autobiographical anthem that resonated with fans and musicians alike. Its catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics about the struggles and dreams of a musician make it a timeless classic.
“Southern Nights” (1977) Written by Allen Toussaint, “Southern Nights” became one of Campbell’s biggest hits. Its smooth melody, catchy chorus, and vivid imagery of warm southern evenings make it a memorable track in his extensive catalog.
“Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)” (1975) This upbeat, catchy song captures Campbell’s early experiences as a young musician trying to make it in the big city. It highlights his ability to tackle various musical styles while staying true to his country roots.
“True Grit” (1969) The theme song for the movie of the same name, in which Campbell starred alongside John Wayne, “True Grit” showcases his talents as both a singer and an actor. The song’s cinematic and western vibe is a testament to his versatility as a performer.
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (2014) A poignant and emotional farewell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” was written and recorded by Campbell as a farewell to his fans and family as he battled Alzheimer’s. The song is a heart-wrenching testament to his resilience and dedication to his music.
“Try a Little Kindness” (1969) This uplifting and inspiring song serves as a reminder of the importance of empathy and compassion. Campbell’s rendition of “Try a Little Kindness” is a beautiful example of his ability to convey deep emotion through music and his commitment to spreading positivity through his art.
These ten songs represent just a glimpse into the remarkable career and musical legacy of Glen Campbell. His timeless music and unmatched talent continue to inspire and touch the hearts of listeners around the world.