The 1968 Glen Campbell Deluxe Balladeer is seen by many as the pinnacle of Ovations acoustic guitar. This particular model set such a high standard in looks, feel and most importantly the sound, that many would argue that it's never gotten much better than this. The Glen Campbell model was produced in very small numbers (est. 50) and thus makes it one of the most sought after instruments by collectors and musicians alike. The design is very similar to the Deluxe Balladeer, including the ebony fretboard, spruce top, deep shiny bowl and 5 point rosewood bridge. But the Glen Campbell model adds gold Grover hardware, a bound fretboard, Glen Campbell signature truss rod cover, and diamond shaped inlays. The Glen Campbell Deluxe Balladeer was produced through the first part of 69. It was replaced when Glen wanted more "cut" in his guitar, so Ovation started producing a smaller "Artist" bowl and thusly named it the Glen Campbell Artist Balladeer. Sadly, the Glen Campbell Deluxe Balladeer (and it's sister 12-string) closed out a most wonderful era of shiny bowl Ovation guitars.
Glen had two personalized Deluxe Balladeers, it appears. Both of them were prototypes. There were subtle differences. one of the differences was a different font used in the "GC" 12th fret initials and the first proto was missing the 19th fret inlay.
Here is a rare video of Glen playing the second prototype, while Merle Haggard is playing the first.
This is one of Glen's Deluxe Balladeers. It was the first prototype. (courtesy of Wayne Reid)
Here is a picture of Glen playing that guitar on the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour:
And Ovation used Glen with this guitar for numerous advertising campaigns
Here is Glen playing it with Stevie Wonder in 69.
In 2011, Prototype #2 suffered a headstock misfortune and was sent to Ovation to be repaired. Here it is, prior to be returning to Glen.
Glen still had the 2nd prototype Deluxe Balladeer, when it appeared in the Malibu staircase picture
Glen's 2nd prototype Deluxe Balladeer is now one of Glen's featured guitars in the Country Music Hall of Fame (thanks Dee)
Thanks to David Witko for (kind of) allowing me to use the information on the Glen Campbell Deluxe Balladeer, which he has researched on his informative Ovation Gallery website.
Please check out Jack Harris’s heartfelt tribute song to Glen Campbell, The Farewell Blue Guitar, with Brent Mason on lead guitar!
A look at the history behind many of the guitars Glen has used throughout his career.