CARL MEETS LARRY & GLEN
(from the YouTube clip, "Carl Jackson Talks About Getting Hired By Glen Campbell")
I can't, uh play anything without uh... talking a bit... Because of why we're here.
Uhm... come from a little town called Louisville Mississippi and uh, when I was growin' up had several heroes... you know what I mean, Micky Mantle is really big for me I think... and Glen Campbell... and uh... it's true, the absolute truth...
And uh... when I was in High School uh, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour was very huge and it was just... uh, the biggest show on TV- especially for as far as I was concerned.
And uhm... and so I'd make it a point of every Sunday evenin' to make sure that I was there when John Hartford at first stood up in the audience and started playing Gentle On My Mind and later on Larry McNeely and I uh, was a banjo player, still play banjo and uh... when I graduated a lot of my classmates... they signed in my yearbook uh, "See you on Glen Campbell one day".
Serious, I can show it to you, three or four different ones.
The next thing I know I'm up in Columbus Ohio, uh, and I put a little band together with uh, with Keith Whitley, a guy named Bill Rollins and a guy named Jimmy Goodrow... and uh, Keith and I are lookin' at the paper and we see that Glen Campbell is goin' to be at the Ohio State Fair- this is kind... now of a long story that I beg ya, but I'm going to tell it anyway...
And, anyway uh, Keith was... and Keith was a big fan of Glen Campbell also and so we decided that we were gonna go out to the Fair and we did... and we were completely blown away and knew we would be, and then we went out to the midway for a little while and looked around and on our way back to our car we had to pass right by the dressing rooms which were trailers, by the way, at the Ohio State Fair and as we were going by I looked over to the left and saw Larry NcNeely standing there talking to some people... signing autographs and talkin' to some folks.
And so Keith and I walked over and I wanted to say hello to him. I never met Larry but I was a very big fan of his playin' and so I did... and walked up to him and stuck out my hand and said, "Larry, My name is Carl Jackson and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the show'.
And he said, "Carl Jackson- I love your playin'. What are you doing up here"?
And I didn't even know that he knew who I was and uhm... and so I said I'm up here and Keith and I are up here and had form a little Bluegrass group, uh... I had worked with Jim & Jessie by the way which is one of the Bluegrass icons on the Opry and Larry had worked with Roy Acuff before he worked with Glen, and so that's how he knew but I had never officially met him.
And uh, he said, :What are you doing tomorrow".
And I said, Well, uh... nothin' really... we're just kinda hangin' out and we got a show comin' up tomorrow or somthin'... and he said why don't you come by tomorrow and we can do some playin'... and I said well, okay I'll do that and so I go by the next day and there's uh, Larry... he... he gets out his banjo and asks me to get mine out and uh... he plays a couple things... we play a couple things together but mostly he starts goin', can... can you play this and asks me for a tune and I play it for him... uhm... and then he... he asks me do you play the guitar and so I said yeah... I can play a little bit...
And so he looked over at me and said, "Would you like to have this job"?
And I said, "Uhm... Yeah"!
And he said (chuckles) he said, "Well you know I've been tryin' to find somebody that could replace me" .... He said, "You- you can do it".
He said just give me a minute, and so I don't know what he was doin' but he got up and left. He came back about three or four minutes later and he said, "Come with me".
And now he takes me over to the next trailer over and uh, I was walkin' in and there sits Glen Campbell- my hero and uh, he's there and uh, he kinda puts me through the same... Sorry, I'm about to cry but it's not... it's a lot of cigarette smoke too... so... and I can't... if, if I choke up during the singin' it's... I can't help it, I'm so allergic to it, there are people smokin' outside and you can't fool me!
But, sorry, uh, anyway uh, he... Glen starts askin' me for uh, Standards like Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Rocky Top, things like that you know...
Yeah, and I played it for him and I remember he said can you play Little Rocky Mountain Getaway... Yeah, so I played a Little Rocky Getaway on the banjo for him and he said (chuckles)
and then he said can you play guitar and I said, well, yeah....
I play a little bit and at the time I knew just about everything he had ever done uh, because I just loved it you know, I don't remember it now but I did know everything.
But anyway, I... I played a little guitar for him and then he asked me to see if I could play the claw, and I said, uh, yeah... I played the claw for him and he looked over at me and said, "How much would you like to make".
18 year old me said uh, "A million dollars". (chuckles) And he says, "You're hired".
And he said, "You go home and get your stuff together and I'll have Stan Snyder call you".
And uh, So I did. I had to go back and tell Keith and the other guys that I was quittin' the band after a week... and uh, I went home to Mississippi, Stan Snyder called and in 1972 I went to work with Glen before I was 19 years old and twelve of the best years of my life and as far as I'm concerned the greatest singer to walk this planet in my life.