Sunday, October 02, 2016

Glenn Campbell - By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Since I'm on the theme of childhood music, a friend (thanks Patrick M.) recently reminded me of Glen Campbell and the recent documentary about him, I'll Be Me (2014). I haven't seen it but the conversation took me back to my very long-ago childhood, when I was probably 3 or 4, in my parents' house in Bloomington, Indiana where there was a copy of Campbell's album By The Time I Get to Phoenix (1967). My parents' music taste was a mix of Tagore music, classical Indian music and an eclectic smorgasbord of country and western, pop, folk, and rock (Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Jim Reeves, movie soundtracks, and yes, even the Beatles).

This album, whose cover I probably stared at for hours, was played all the time in the house. Most of the songs were covers, which was the m.o. of most country musicians at the time, but the music, so universal and timeless, somehow remains lodged in my psyche decades later.

I remember particularly "Homeward Bound" (a cover of the Simon & Garfunkel song) and "Tomorrow Never Comes") but the real standouts were the title track, "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" the old standard written by the great Jimmy Webb which Campbell made his own. The other was "Cold December" written by Alex Hassilev of the defunct The Limeliters, a folk band who had a few hits in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Both songs highlight Campbell's voice -- kind of like the Jimi Hendrix of country and western vocalists. There's also Campbell's guitar playing which is subtle and sublime.

1 comment:

Patrick McCray said...

Yes. This. Wichita Lineman's been playing here everyday.