Friday, November 18, 2011

This day in music - November 18, 1968: Glen Campbell's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Gentle on My Mind" are certified Gold

There are just a few television shows from my youth that stand out as cross-generational family favourites. The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour was one of them. A major draw was a weekly segment in which an impossibly young Glen Campbell would appear on stage with an equally young John Hartford and other musical guests.

As I recall, somewhere in the middle of each show, Campbell would sit down with Hartford and engage in a bit of banter before a song would be played, Campbell on guitar and Hartford on banjo.

The show was originally a summer replacement for the The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968, then continued in its own time slot from January of 1969 to June of 1972 on CBS.

Hartford was a virtuoso musician, on fiddle and banjo, and a songwriter who also happened to write "Gentle On My Mind," one of Campbell's biggest hits, which, incidentally, won two Grammy Awards in 1968.

As I remember it, there was something about the ease of the on-stage relationship between the two that was simply fun to watch.

Here is a wonderful clip of the two singing "Gentle On My Mind" from one of the episodes. Hartford has been gone for just over ten years; Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's not long ago, but in their day, the boys could make some music. Sweet.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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