Thursday, August 22, 2013

Glen Campbell: Gentle On My Mind

It is said that John Hartford was inspired to write the song “Gentle on My Mind” after seeing the film Dr. Zhivago. He utilized his personal experiences to complete the song’s storyline and a popular hit was born. When Glen Campbell heard Hartford’s version, he assembled the famed Working Crew session musicians and recorded his own rendition.

When the song was released initially in 1967, it didn’t fare too well on the pop charts and only peaked at #62. It did twice as well on the country charts but stalled at #30. After Campbell had several other hit records, Capitol took a chance on re-releasing “Gentle on My Mind” 13 months later in 1968.

While it barely made it into the Top 40 at #39, its country showing the second time around did worse by charting at #44. The 1968 release also made it to #8 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. The “Gentle on My Mind” album, however, did quite well charted at #5 on the Top 200 Albums chart as well as being a #1 country album release.

In addition, “Gentle on My Mind” won two Grammys in two different genres by two different artists. Hartford had the best folk performance Grammy and Campbell received the best solo male country artist accolade. So important was the song for Campbell’s career, he used it for the theme of “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.”

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