Glen Campbell is a pop music legend, having sold more than 45 million records. From 1967 to 1977, he had over 30 singles on the pop charts, four of which hit the Top Ten, with two, "Rhinestone Cowboy," and "Southern Nights," going all the way to #1. He's also a two-time Grammy Award winner for "Gentle On My Mind" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2005.
Even if he had never sung a note, his mark in pop music history would be secure as one of LA's top session guitarists in the 1960s, playing on such classic records as Frank Sinatra's Strangers In The Night, The Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', and that most perfect of albums, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys.
This week, a DVD of some of the greatest performances from The Glen Campbell Good-Time Hour, a variety show which ran on CBS from 1969-1972. was released, and it features Campbell singing some of his biggest hits, as well as duets with Linda Ronstadt, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson, among others. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Campbell about his career. Below are excerpts from that interview.
Let's start by talking about this DVD, which consists of an hour's worth of musical performances from The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. How did you come to get the show?
I hosted the Smothers Brothers Summer Show, but Tommy [Smothers] was running my show, which I liked because Tommy is talented. He knows who to put on and what to do. Tommy had gotten fired from his show, but was continuing to run my show. CBS didn't like that. They didn't even want me to have him on the show. He must've really wised off to somebody at CBS.
That was a great time for music. You don't really see that on TV, like The Andy Williams Show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Smothers Brothers. There just isn't that kind of stuff on TV.
I looked up the show on Wikipedia and found an incredible range of musicians who appeared on this show. In addition to those on the DVD, there was also Ella Fitzgerald, The Supremes, Don Ho, The Association – very diverse group. Did the network ever wonder what you were trying to do?