Glen Campbell… Like a Rhinestone Cowboy!
Singer Glen Campbell playing guitar as host of the NBC television show The Midnight Special episode which was broadcast on October 24, 1975 after The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. (Getty Images)
“Rhinestone Cowboy” is a song written and recorded in the 1970s. It was written by Larry Weiss who initially recorded the song. Unfortunately, for Weiss, there was little interest in his recording from fans. His initial target audience was the country music world, but he failed to hit his mark.
“Rhinestone Cowboy” was later, more successfully, recorded by country music GREAT, Glen Campbell in 1975.
Glen Campbell, however, had a different opinion of the now iconic song. He was on tour in Australia when he heard the song. He immediately expressed interest in recording it. He had referred to it as, “a great new song.” Soon he had all but made it his own! Who knows if he knew just how successful it would be?
The iconic song is probably the one Glen Campbell is best known and remembered for.
Glen Campbell with John Wayne in “True Grit”
As you know, Glen Campbell was a familiar face beginning in the '60s and '70s. He was an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor and television host. He actually was one of the personalities that jumped on the variety show bandwagon.
"The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" aired from 1969 to 1972.
Glen Campbell with Cher on "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour"
Like many other variety shows, "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" was a mixture of music, comedy and many other relevant topics of the groovy era. During this time, Campbell’s country music career took off. He eventually released over 70 albums, including 12 gold albums, 4 platinum albums and 1 double-platinum album. Not too shabby!
“Rhinestone Cowboy” song lyrics suggested country music roots but actually appealed to country AND pop music fans.
“Rhinestone Cowboy” boasted a huge success with music fans of varied taste. It was initially thought to be a song that would appeal to country music fans. The true spirit of the song, however, appealed to pop music fans as well.
The meaning of “Rhinestone Cowboy” was one people could relate to.
“Rhinestone Cowboy,” not unlike many other songs, told a story. The story was that of survival and “making it" when the odds are stacked against you. Although Campbell was, by that time, very successful, he also knew what it was like to “pay his dues” and fight for what mattered. He fought tooth and nail to “shine like a rhinestone cowboy,” and that he did.
Glen Campbell’s Hollywood Star
It has been over 40 years since Campbell released his recording of “Rhinestone Cowboy.” All of these years later, even though Campbell has left this life, the song he made famous lives on. The biggest hit of his epic career continues to remind us of Glen Campbell’s country music legacy.
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