Please check out Jack Harris’s heartfelt tribute song to Glen Campbell, The Farewell Blue Guitar, with Brent Mason on lead guitar!

1969 Ovation Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer 1127/1627

A look at the history behind many of the guitars Glen has used throughout his career.
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kvalois
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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:30 pm

The Last 2017 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627GC-4 Made

Post by kvalois » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:46 pm

Hi, everyone:

I have a story that my be of some interest here! I have been a Glen Campbell fan since 1967 and, as a teenager, loyally watched his "Goodtime Hour" every Sunday night on CBS TV.

When I began to play guitar in 1994, I went to the New Hartford Ovation factory in Connecticut to pick out my first 12-string guitar-- an Ovation 1866 Legend. It was a "second" that had a slight imperfection. But, how loved it! Then, I did not keep up with Ovation Guitars for years. In the process, I kept missing out on Glen Campbell re-issue signature models. It seems that I would hear about them JUST after it was too late to place an order!

Well, last year, was Glen was dying, I once again heard about the 1627 model that Ovation was making. When I contacted various music stores in Connecticut to place an order-- AGAIN, I was told that I JUST missed it by a few days!!!

With nothing to lose, I called the New Hartford factory and spoke with several Ovation people-- including Darren Wallace. They were unbelievably kind when I explained how-- all my life-- I kept missing out!! They said: "Well, maybe, we can make ONE more!" Then, I contacted Damon Thomas of Red Blanket Guitars, who also went to bat for me! Damon was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. I put the order in through him! Months later, on a Friday, I got the call from New Hartford that my GC 1627-4 was ready to be picked up! However, I was 70 miles away and unable to make it there by closing time. BUT, my lovely wife was in the area and offered to bring it home! When I opened the guitar case that night, I instantly fell in love with what may be the LAST GC 1627-4 model!

Finally, I would also like to thank our forum's own Jay Kantor for all of his help in this matter. Jay not only gave me a much-needed crash course on Glen Campbell Ovation guitars, but wise counsel as well!

Karl
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Karl Valois 1627GC-4
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Karl Valois 1627GC-4
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Karl Valois 1627GC-4
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Karl Valois 1627GC-4
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jay
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Glen Campbell's Artist Balladeer Given to Carl Jackson

Post by jay » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:01 pm

Carl Jackson, is a professional country and bluegrass musician, as well as a Grammy-winning studio producer. He served as Glen's bandleader and sideman for 12 years, from 1972 to 1984. He tells his story of how he came to own his GC Artist Balladeer, which he has mistaken for an earlier Deluxe Balladeer.



Carl plays "In the Garden" on Glen's Ovation.



Carl has a picture of Glen's guitar on the cover of "Grace Notes"

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Grace Notes CD cover by Carl Jackson
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A little closer inspection:

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Mislabeled Ovation Glen Campbell Artist
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It appears that Carl has mistaken the model of this guitar, when you consider:
The oval Ovation label. These were not the lables used on the GC Deluxe Balladeers. They were used in the early 70's on all Ovations. '68 models had small rectangular paper tags.

There are an Ovation piezo pickup and early volume knob. These weren't in production for the Glen Campbell Deluxe Balladeer. The 5 point bridge was only used on the Deluxe Balladeer. The bridge and pickup on Carl's guitar were never used on a GC Deluxe Balladeer.
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Glen Campbell Deluxe Balladeer and Artist Bridges
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You can visually see the cosmetic differences between the GC Deluxe Balladeer and the GC Artist guitar heads:
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GC Deluxe Balladeer and GC Artist Head Comparison
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Many thanks to Dee and Dave Witco and his Ovation Gallery for providing me with pictures!



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jay
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2018 Ovation Glen Campbell American Artist 1627GC-4X

Post by jay » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:30 am

Due to the demand for Glen's 1627 in 2017, Ovation released a 1627 in 2018 with a torrified top. Sadly, it will be the last American 1627 produced, as Ovation closed it's American production shop this year. The following is from Ovations press release of the 1627GC-4X:

Widely regarded as one of the finest guitar players of the past 50 years, Glen Campbell was a devout Ovation owner who began playing them almost exclusively in 1968. Campbell passed away in 2017, just shy of what would have been a 50-year relationship with Ovation. Now, Ovation is honored to offer the American Artist Glen Campbell 2018 Edition in Glen's memory and for the playing public. Crafted with a nitro-finished AAA torrefied Sitka spruce top, a 5-piece mahogany/maple neck, and an ebony fingerboard, this is truly an instrument befitting of Campbell's enduring legacy.

This gorgeous instrument features a AAA torrefied Sitka spruce top with a nitro finish for superior tone and appearance. A classic center soundhole is beautifully adorned with an inlaid legend with acrylic pearl "oak leaves" — just like the one you see on many Ovations Glen played over the years. In addition, the entire body is bound with white ABS and 7-ply black/white purfling that contrasts wonderfully with the medium brown of the spruce top.

Before he became a famous solo artist, Glen had made a name for himself as a session musician. He was a member of the famed Wrecking Crew in the '60s, playing on numerous songs for artists like the Beach Boys, Nat King Cole, and Elvis. His lead playing ran the gamut from lighting fast to slow, soulful, and richly melodic. The neck on this American Artist Glen Campbell captures the eclectic spirit of his playing by offering up a beautifully responsive mahogany neck with maple/mahogany/maple laminates and a gorgeous ebony fingerboard with classic mother-of-pearl diamond inlays. One strummed chord or run up the neck, and you'll know why Glen loved these Ovation necks so much.

Today, Ovation's Lyrachord body construction is well known in the guitar community. But when Glen Campbell first strapped on his Ovation, it was a brand-new concept. Now, with many manufacturers scrambling to find alternate and superior materials, we're discovering how far ahead of the curve Ovation really was. The American Artist Glen Campbell 2018 Edition boasts the same hand-laid Lyrachord body that Glen enjoyed. This instrument also features Ovation's signature LX scalloped bracing, a cutting-edge approach that uses tiny micro-balloons made of glass that are injected into the composite material. This takes roughly 35% of the weight out of the body without losing any of the strength and the stability
.

  • 4 lbs 8 oz
  • Natural Finish
  • Torrified Spruce Top
  • Refined Scalloped X Bracing Pattern
  • Campbell Custom Mid Depth Lyrachord Body
  • 5-Piece Maple/Mahogany/Maple Neck
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • 25-1/4” Scale
  • 1-11/16” Nut Width
  • 10” Fretboard Radius
  • 20 Frets
  • .870" Neck Depth at 1st Fret
  • .990" Neck Depth at 9th Fret
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Schaller M6 Tuners with Gold Buttons
  • Vintage Style Ovation Electronics
  • Gold Hardware
Many thanks to Damon Thomas of Red Blanket Guitars for sharing his pictures of the 2018 Ovation Glen Campbell American Artist 1627GC-4X.


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2018 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627GC-4X
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2018 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627GC-4X
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2018 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627GC-4X
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2018 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627GC-4X
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2018 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627GC-4X
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2018 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627GC-4X
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jay
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2017 Ovation Glen Campbell "Signature Series" 1627GC-4

Post by jay » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:22 pm

In 2017, the newly Drum Works owned Ovation honored Glen with several "Signature Series" models. Amongst the offerings was a limited release of an American made 1627. It seemed to be very similar to the 2011 LTD-4, except for the rosette and the darker spruce top, along with the truss rod covering having Glen's signature.

The production of these 1627's sold out and it was reported that there was still a demand for more, which was probably due to Glen's passing that year.


Body
Body type: Mid-Depth
Top wood: AAA Sitka spruce
Back & sides: Lyrachord
Bracing pattern: Scalloped, VT-11
Body finish: Gloss
Orientation: Right handed

Neck
Nut width: 1.69 in. (43 mm)
Fingerboard: Ebony
Neck wood: Solid Mahogany
Number of frets: 20
Neck finish: Satin

Electronics
Pickup/preamp: Yes
Brand: Ovation
Preamp EQ: 4-band
Tuner: Yes

Other
Tuning machines: Schaller M6, Gold with Gold Buttons
Bridge: Ebony
Saddle & nut: Bone
Number of strings: 6-string
Case: Deluxe hardshell case
Country of origin: United States
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2017 Ovation 1627GC-4
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2017 Ovation 1627GC-4
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2017 Ovation 1627GC-4
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2017 Ovation 1627GC-4
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2017 Ovation 1627GC-4
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2017 Ovation 1627GC-4
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2017 Ovation 1627GC-4
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jay
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Glen Campbell with a 2011 1627 LTD-4

Post by jay » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:58 am



The 45th CMA celebrated Glen and Jimmy Webb shared in an interview:
“It was the 50th Anniversary of Ovation Guitars. So they were giving away Ovation guitars. There were Ovation guitars backstage. Vince, very innocently, handed Glen the Ovation guitar he was holding in his hand, and Glen took it...and all Glen knows is; you hand him a guitar and he starts singing and playing.”
You can watch this moment right HERE


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Glen Playing His Glen Campbell Artist 1627LTD
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Glen Campbell with his Ovation 1627LTD
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jay
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2011 Ovation Glen Campbell Limited Edition 1627 LTD-4

Post by jay » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:37 am

Ovation released a 1627 in 2011. It was advertised as a "Limited Edition" whose release was timed with Glen's release of Ghost on the Canvas. It appears that the biggest cosmetic change from the 2006 40th Anniversary was moving Glen's signature to the bottom of the fretboard and having a blank truss rod cover. The following was Ovations description:

Ovation is celebrating 50 years of Glen Campbell's career with the Glen Campbell 1627LTD-4 acoustic-electric guitar. With over 50 studio albums to his credit, Glen Campbell helped shape the sound of music in the '60s and '70s and beyond. The 1627LTD-4 is modeled after Glen's original Ovation model, with a few extra touches. It's got the comfortable Shallow Bowl body style, made from Ovation's Original Lyrachord for outstanding projection and balance. The AAA-grade solid spruce top looks as great as it sounds, and will age gracefully over the years with harmonics and richness developing even more over time. The five-piece mahogany and maple neck is topped with a deluxe-grade ebony fretboard, and gold and pearl inlays complete the premium appointments. In short, the Glen Campbell 1627LTD-4 acoustic-electric is an exceptional guitar to commemorate an exceptional musician. With only 50 models in production, the Ovation Glen Campbell 1627LTD-4 is a collector's guitar that plays like a workhorse instrument. Each individual guitar is consecutively numbered, and includes a Certificate of Authenticity. You also get a signed copy of Glen Campbell's most recent - and possibly final - studio album, "Ghost on the Canvas."

Ovation Glen Campbell 1627LTD-4 Acoustic-electric Guitar Features:
Commemorates Glen Campbell's 50 years in show business, based on Glen's original Ovation with some extra touches
  • Color: Natural
  • AAA solid top for exceptional tone and vibrance that will only improve with time
  • 5-pc maple/mahogany neck enhances sustain and resists warping or twisting
  • Deluxe-grade ebony fretboard helps enhance tone, with gold pearl dots and diamonds inlays
  • Incredibly striking rosette
  • Exceptional plugged-in performance provided by the built-in electronics
  • Certificate of Authenticity, hardshell case, and signed copy of Glen Campbell's "Ghost on the Canvas" CD included

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2011 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627LTD
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2011 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627LTD
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2011 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627LTD
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2011 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627LTD
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jay
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Glen Campbell with a 40th Anniversary 1627 Re-Issue

Post by jay » Thu May 31, 2018 1:19 pm

This is a picture of Glen with Paul Moodys 2006 40th Anniversary 1627 Reissue at NAMM in 2011.

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Glen Campbell w/ Paul Moodys 2006 Ovation 1627 Re Issue
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It appears that Ovation had not released the 2011 Glen Campbell 1627LTD, so Kim Keller of Ovation Guitars asked Paul to loan his 40th to them while Glen was at NAMM signing autographs. Rick Hall was supposed to get Glen to sign the back of the head...but forgot.

____

This photo has been used quite a bit in various articles about Glen. It appears to have been taken in 2011/12 around the release of Ghost on the Canvas. There is a good chance that the guitar in this photo is also Paul Moody's 40th.

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Glen with a 2006 Ovation 1627 ReIssue
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I believe Surfdog created this montage to Celebrate Ovation releasing the 2011 1627 LTD, using the 2006 1627 Reissue:

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Surfdog Glen Campbell Advert w/ 40th 1627
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jay
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2006 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627 40th Anniversary Re-Issue

Post by jay » Wed May 30, 2018 8:20 am

In 2006, Ovation celebrated their 40th anniversary by reissuing several of their original guitars. One was the Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer, which became the 1627. The reissue was more representative of the later 1627, with its' "A" bracing. Although claims of only 60 were made...the last one produced showed 077. Everyone echoed how magnificent this guitar sounded and the beauty of its craftsmanship.

Ovation gave the following description in their literature:

  • AA Grade Solid Sitka Spruce Soundboard
  • Ovation A Bracing
  • Original Fiberglass Cloth - Shallow Non-Cutaway Bowl
  • Ovation Oak Leaf Rosette
  • 5-Piece Mahogany/Maple Neck
  • Dual Action Tension Rod
  • Natural Gloss
  • 1 11/16” Deluxe Grade Ebony Fretboard
  • Dots and Diamonds Inlay
  • 25 ¼” Scale
  • Walnut Head
  • Gold Schaller Tuners
  • Ovation OPP: Original Patented Pickup
  • FET Volume/Tone Preamp


To commemorate its 40th Anniversary in 2006, Ovation is releasing a Limited Edition Glen Campbell 6-string reissue model. Designed and built to the same specifications of Glen’s famous model 1627, first released in 1968, these rare and collectible guitars will be available for a limited time in early 2006. Featuring Ovation’s “hand laid” fiberglass cloth bowls - made from the original molds - and retro-engineered FET preamp, this lightweight guitar sings with balance and projection that has become Ovation’s trademark sound. Each Limited Edition Glen Campbell will be accompanied by a Certificate-of-Authenticity autographed by Glen.


Thank you to Dave Witco for allowing me to use his pictures.


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2006 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627 40th Anniversary Re-Issue
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2006 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627 40th Anniversary Re-Issue
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2006 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627 40th Anniversary Re-Issue
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2006 Ovation Glen Campbell 1627 40th Anniversary Re-Issue
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jay
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1969 Ovation Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer 1127/1627

Post by jay » Tue May 22, 2018 6:29 pm

Glen’s second signature guitar was the 1127 (later, the 1627 w/pickup) Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer. Glen is seen here with one of the first ones Ovation produced, probably around 1969/70. Very few, would have had the 5-point bridge found on the first generation shiny bowls.


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Ovation 1627 Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer
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The first generation Ovations had a large deep bowl, which provided an extremely resonate sound across all the strings. Since Ovation had yet to develop their electric acoustic, Glen had to play in front of a mic and he wanted less bass resonance in the acoustic response. Bill Kaman shared, in 2003, that “He (Glen) also wanted more cut in the sound, so the mid-depth bowl was introduced."

It is pretty clear that Glen, in the early 70’s, had quite a bit of influence over Ovations R&D department, by his playing preferences. Ovation will ultimately modify their bowl and develop a game-changing piezo pickup, between their first and second generation Ovations, due to Glen’s influence.

Walter Carter states in the History of the Ovation Guitar that “Glen Campbell did more than just play Ovations. He made several suggestions that led to his own signature models and to improvements across the line. “Everything I liked or wanted done, I let Charlie know”, Campbell said.”

When Glen suggested a shallower bowl, Ovation developed the “artist bowl” and the new model was introduced as the Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer. The base guitar was an Artist Balladeer (model 1121). Glen’s signature guitar, 1127/1627, came with a better AAA soundboard, fancier mother of pearl, diamond-shaped fret inlays, Glen Campbell truss rod cover, Gold Grover tuners, and fretboard binding.

Paul Moody shared with me:
In documents I saw about 8 years ago, notes from the factory, Glen's desire for less bass was considered an "anomaly". Most people want more bass out of their Ovations. But Glen was the consummate flat picker. He was looking for projection, clarity, punch. The GC Artists tend to make me think that he wasn't that concerned with tone.


Glen played his Artist Balladeer from about 1969 to around 1972, when he began playing his Ovation Legend. Ovation continued to find tremendous success in reducing the bowl size on their acoustic electrics.

Many thanks to Paul Moody in helping with this topic.
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Ovation 1627 Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer
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Ovation 1627 Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer
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Ovation 1627 Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer
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