Thank you, Cowpoke!
I recently heard that America is a country that is obsessed with lists, and so there is a tinge of guilt when I submit a list of what I say are my 3-5 all time favorite albums, but I must admit history was re-written when Surfdog label and Glen Campbell produced and released Ghost On The Canvas.
You have to understand I bought 10 Glen Campbell albums between the third and sixth grade between Spring of '67 and '71, I raked leaves, pulled a lot of weeds, and mowed lawns to get those and when I recieved a couple dollars for a present I can remember washing my face and putting on a clean shirt to scour the record aisles for more Glen Campbell albums, I probably should have worn gloves the amount of times I sifted through his albums.
Conway Twitty is on my list of artist I would've liked to seen, if that gives you an idea how I think and feel, but if you really want to know the other two all time favorite albums are song cycles, which is what I feel GOTC is and GOTC is pushing its' way higher up the list the more I listen to it because of the color, range of emotion, power and resolution, most joyous for certain with an abiding love for the family, friends and the lord. You can't beat that, hmm.
Let's just say Glen Campbell GOTC is the best album to come out in a very,very long time.
And so far as memories go, here is the shift for me.
I remember eye balling the record slicks for The Astounding 12-Sting Guitar Of Glen Campbell and Burning Bridges when I used to go to the store between 1964 and 1967, the two main retaail outlet were called the PX and Wigwam, oh boy those were days, yes?
Well after seeing Glen Campbell and John Hartford perform Gentle On My Mind on TV in the Spring and summer of '68 I managed to finagle copies of his next three albums after Burning Bridges, Gentle On My Mind, By The Time I Get To phoenix and Hey Little One, I wa sonly ten and so it was quite a triumph to won that much material.
The clincher for me has to be the back cover for the album Hey Little One, the high angle view of the man walking across some lonely railroad tracks and black and white pctures promoting his last two releases, the ones I had recently bought, I guess America has a short term memory and Buring Bridges and 12-String Guitar no longer needed promoting.
By Wichita Lineman PX and Wigman were noo longer the main place to shop for records and was replaced by retail outlet named Value-Mart.
I have fond memories of how big Wichita Lineman is because there was a coin dispenser for the kids but instead of gumballs or trinkets it dispenced a small record slick of your favorite song of the day, it was sammler than a 45 single and could only be played on one side, and only last around 20 plays, a real novelty, I had to lift to lift and center my father's phonograph needle to play it. I don't think it was very good for the system, but you know, by Wichita Lineman Glen Campbell had become a welcome part of every household on our block.
I will relate one last memory what it was like for Glen Campbell to appeal to the younger generation, the arrangements and ccchoice of material were very deep, where does a thiird or fourth grader go in their mind.
Well, I had By THe Time I Get TO Phoenix all mapped out.
This is what I read into the lyrics, you can tell me how close or far off I am, I'm not making this up, this is really what I thought the song was about when it came out.
The central character in the song is a musician, he has met a lady in small town at a car rental agency, he is self employed and has some time off between dates, she's a bachlorette and the two move into her small apartment.
He's comfortable for awhile, living and driving around town because it is pretty upscale for a small community, she is independant and moved there to get away from relatives to live life on her terms, this is what has drawn the musician to her.
But it can be painful because a musician doesn't live by the same everyday rules we do, and when he gets up and leaves her, his life is an open slate or blank canvas to fill with impressions that no one else can come close to experiencing.
And then there is the album cover, the way he is bent over clutching his guitar case, he's hurting remembering her face and the last time he saw he and appears to be waiting for a bus with a big bank or flood of white light behind him, the overall mood or sentiment, he has bus fare today but could be hitching a ride on a big wheeler tomorrow, one more person his ambition has crushed,with hopes and dreams to make it big or die trying.
And then the mention of each city on his stop, is a push to get the woman and her small town values behind him, comforted by the bustle of an enormous city of strangers that don't know who you are but may know your name someday.
There is also the flute in the arrangement,and even the microphone placement, which for a small kid my age was very obvious, the flute is pushed back in the recording, cold and distant like turning around to look at someone in a rear window as loved one fade into the distant, but not from memory, he can never really leave her because love is immortal, and the flute also acts like a kind of vapor or cloud around her because his presence is still rich and warm in her miind.
That is the sensory I got a s a kid, I don't how many people have touched upon the significance of the arrangemnt or the front album cover for By The Time I Get To Phoenix, I do know the song and and arrangement and picture has always spoke to me on many levels. We all carry carry away our experiences or sensory, each one valuable, a treasure to stand the test of time.
My father in-law flew in three wars, B-25's in the Pacific during W.W. II, all through the Korean War and one of the oldest men to fly cargo in Vietnam, when he retired when my wife to be was a teenager they were visiting Tucson, the legend goes he got out his map as men did in their day did and studied all the stops in the song By The Time I Get I get To Phoenix, and learned there is an 8 hour difference between each city, that realisation has gone gold!
Thank you, Cowpoke, Dee,sibil, jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell family and friends.
Thanks for the memories and giving me something to live for, your post have helped put a new spring in my step.
I Thank the lord everyday for the bounty and a thriving community like the Surfdog Glen Campbell Official Website.
Have a wonderful weekend. And keep n listening to those Golden Hits.