Lion of the Blogosphere

Rhinestone Cowboy

with 31 comments

By Glen Campbell, 1936-2017

I remember when this song was overplayed on the radio.

I think he looks pretty skinny for a country singer. A modern-day country singer would be more obviously jacked up and full of muscle.

* * *

The song is actually about how the singer wants to make it big in New York City. The chorus about being a “rhinestone cowboy” is an analogy for how it will feel to be famous in the big city, it’s not literally about being a cowboy.

Even back in 1975, New York City was the place where everyone wanted to make it.

* * *

The biggest hit country song of 2016, H.O.L.Y. by Florida Georgia Line, is just a boring love song.

I think the girl in the video has more muscle than Glen Campbell. Okay, that’s a big exaggeration. But she does have a nice body compared to skinny 70s girls like Farrah Fawcett.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 8, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Music videos, Obituary

31 Responses

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  1. I am too young to remember this song, but it was featured in High School High

    ScarletNumber

    August 8, 2017 at 10:53 pm

  2. Oh, he’s dead.

    Campbell recorded what is maybe the greatest country track, Witchita Lineman, though like a lot of good country music it just barely fits the genre.

    He was also my 7th or 8th favorite Beach Boy.

    That 2016 song is some unbelievable garbage, though. How does even a professional union-card holding studio musician get through that without puking? Another reason to have computers do all the work I guess.

    onetwothree

    August 9, 2017 at 12:03 am

    • Wichita is probably his greatest song. Beautiful tune, modulates to the relative major in the bridge, has an interesting chord progression that matches the lyrics.

      GondwanaMan

      August 9, 2017 at 7:19 am

  3. Best Glen Campbell songs (no particular order)

    Wichita Lineman, Galveston – By the time I get to Phoenix, Southern Nights

    His biggest hits, Rhinestone Cowboy and Gentle on my mind were just a notch below for me (and/or overplayed on radio)

    On country music topics, for decades Country music was primarily aimed at adults (late 20s and above) so the topics often reflected adult concerns – not enough money, too many kids, too much drinking, dealing with or wanting to escape from unhappy marriages etc. It seems now that it’s been youthed down and so it’s just about the same vapid topics that have always dominated music for teens and young adults.

    cliff arroyo

    August 9, 2017 at 1:55 am

    • Modern country sucks, no doubt about it.

      GondwanaMan

      August 9, 2017 at 7:20 am

      • From 1963:

        Rifleman

        August 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

      • Country music hasn’t been country for decades. It’s morphed into a strange kind of pop with cowboy hats.

        destructure

        August 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm

  4. I remember when this song was overplayed on the radio.

    How about Debbie Boone’s You Light up my life?

    The 70s had lots of novelty songs or one hit wonders or “story” songs. Very corny.

    The Night the lights went out in Georgia, Billy don’t be a Hero, The night Chicago died, Billy Joe jumped off…some bridge.

    I don’t even know the genre. Was it soft rock? Easy listening? Go to YouTube for these songs and imagine those songs today.

    Same with TV show theme songs. Lots of catchy songs with little stories.

    Welcome back Kotter, Maude, All in the Family.

    Rifleman

    August 9, 2017 at 2:10 am

    • Don’t forget Brandy and the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Gotta love those sea tales.

      Curle

      August 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

      • I remember “Brandy.” There was a girl on my block who loved this song and played it constantly at a loud volume during the summer of 72. You could hear it halfway down the block. I’m partial to this song, and others from 1972 because that was the summer I had my first make-out experience (with a local Jewish boy who apparently liked younger guido girls.)

        maryk

        August 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    • You missed the signal example of the genre, Muskrat Love.

      Marty

      August 9, 2017 at 11:27 am

    • > How about Debbie Boone’s You Light up my life?

      The funny thing is that in the movie the song is “sung” by Didi Conn.

      ScarletNumber

      August 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      • It was the number one song of the 1970’s. And ironically, one record company after another turned Debby Boone down for this song – saying it was too sappy. If I remember correctly, it stayed at no. 1 for 10 weeks.

        maryk

        August 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    • Another “gem” from that era was Morris Albert’s “Feelings.” Unbearable.

      Lewis Medlock

      August 9, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    • Go to 1:07. And it was the Tallahatchie Bridge.

      Njguy73

      August 9, 2017 at 6:50 pm

  5. The song is about New York because the guy who wrote it grew up in Queens. It was written and first recorded by Larry Weiss. As for New York City being “the place where everyone wanted to make it”, Weiss was from New York but wanted to make it in… Las Angeles. And now he writes songs in Nashville.

    destructure

    August 9, 2017 at 3:11 am

  6. I remember Glenn Campbell for his song, Wichita Lineman, written by the great Jimmy Webb. A beautiful and timeless love song.

    The lioncub

    August 9, 2017 at 4:14 am

  7. Even in 1775 New York City was the place where everyone wanted to Make It.

    SomeGuy

    August 9, 2017 at 8:28 am

  8. Does anyone remember the 3 songs Glen Campbell took to number one?

    Neither did he.

    Paul Rise

    August 9, 2017 at 10:38 am

    • Ha, someone told me some black comedy joke about Parkinson’s earlier today.

      GondwanaMan

      August 9, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      • Kurt Vonnegut called black comedy “Jewish comedy”. Why do Jews gotta take credit for everything?

        GondwanaMan

        August 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm

  9. Glen Campbell was an outstanding sessions guitarist/soloist too:

    Also, his daughter, Ashley Campbell, is very, very cute.

    SWPL2

    August 9, 2017 at 11:16 am

  10. What in the world are you talking about? Campbell had the same physique that Clint Eastwood had at the same age. As for current country stars, how about Brad Paisley? He has no muscle. By the way, if there’s ever been a funnier video than Paisley’s “Celebrity” with Jason Alexander and William Shatner, I’d like to hear about it.

    As for women, how in hell can you tell what the Florida-Georgia woman’s figure looks like? She’s either in shadow or only shown from the waist up throughout that video. For all you know she’s even flatter than Farah, who I agree was oversold as a sex symbol. I’d have preferred Charlene Tilton.

    Finally, what’s really remarkable about that modern video is the men. They’re stingy and full of tattoos. Like heroin addicts. I don’t actually believe any healthy woman would fall for either of them.

    Marty

    August 9, 2017 at 11:25 am

  11. I loved Glen Campbell in “True Grit” (the original version, with John Wayne and Kim Darby). It’s still my favorite western and, I think, John Wayne’s greatest performance, because he played a parody of himself, a very tough role for any actor.

    Black Death

    August 9, 2017 at 12:04 pm

  12. This is trivial, but I came to make the same comment Marty made. Glen Campbell in that video looks very healthy-solid V shape with narrow waist and wide chest and shoulders. Not buff like a modern weightlifter, but a very solid guy.

    bananahead

    August 9, 2017 at 1:22 pm

  13. You guys are nuts that country is bad. Sure, sure, all that pop country stuff is mostly awful, but you also have some of the best music being made today by country artists, many of whom are female, for whatever reason. Here’s a go to list:

    The great Miranda Lambert
    Sunny Sweeney
    Angaleena Presley
    Brandy Clark
    Drive-By Truckers
    First Aid Kit (country-ish pop by hot Swedish girls)
    John Moreland
    Kacey Musgraves
    Old 97s
    Pistol Annies (country chic super group)
    Whitney Rose

    Jason Isbel used to be on my list, but on his last record he put out a “white people suck” cuck song, so now he’s dead to me.

    And there’s the added benefit that some of them look like this:

    peterike

    August 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    • Sunny Sweeney is a babe (I don’t know if she’s gained weight in recent years.)

      west Coast IA

      August 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    • Same here for Isbel. He was cucking on the Daily Show not too long ago. I thought he and Trevor Noah were going to bang.

      SWPL2

      August 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

  14. I’m glad so many people here think “Wichita Linesman” was Glenn’s best song. I always thought it was far superior to “Galveston” and “By the time I get to Phoenix.” “Rhinestone Cowboy” was nice, but was too obviously commercial and “sing-along” to be timeless. “Gentle on my mind” was nice, and back in the day many people thought this or “Phoenix” would be the song he’d be most remembered for. But WL has stood the test of time. Also really good is a song called “Such are the dreams of the everyday housewife.” And with Bobbie Gentry, Glenn did a version of the Everly Brothers hit “All I have to do is dream.” I think his and Bobby’s version is the best version ever – topping the original version by a mile. It’s so smooth that I’m tempted to do a Linda Richman and say “it’s like Buttuh!”

    It’s not widely known, but Glenn played on a few studio sessions of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.”

    maryk

    August 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    • Glenn was part of a group of studio musicians called “the wrecking crew” who played on hits by the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, The Monkees, Mamas and Papas, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers and a lot more. He did over 600 studio sessions for other artists in one year alone.

      destructure

      August 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm


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