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BooMusic: Wichita Lineman

Is still on the line…

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  • JoeDaddy July 2, 2021, 2:33 AM


  • Jim in Oxford July 2, 2021, 2:54 AM

    I don’t know what Art is, but I know what I like. This Jimmy Webb song is one of his (many) great songs. And Glenn Campbell is one of the many under-appreciated singers of the past many years — and an incredibly talented guitarist (see YouTube).

    It’s sad, though, to have seen how Tinsel Town Culture ate him up (not unwillingly) and spit him out. People will insist on wanting to be A Rock & Roll Star, because if “in a week or two if you make the charts the girls will tear you apart” . . .

    Well, the world runs on Money and Pussy, and not necessarily in that order.

  • Klaus July 2, 2021, 4:12 AM

    One of the greatest guitarists of all times.

  • TrangBang68 July 2, 2021, 4:20 AM

    Listened to that song on Armed Forces Radio in War Zone C. It was haunting, still is

  • Alex G July 2, 2021, 5:19 AM

    The beauty of this song lingers even though Glen Campbell has left us.

  • Steve in Greensboro July 2, 2021, 6:00 AM

    Besides his beautiful voice and great musical taste, Mr. Campbell could pick guitar (as Klaus says above). He was a member of the “Wrecking Crew”, a group of session players who actually played the recorded top 40 music in LA in the 1960s and 1970s. Glenn played guitar in the studio before he became a pop star.

    My poor daughters are getting exposed to old guy music, including (but not limited to) Glenn Campbell, Jerry Reed, Mac Davis, Roy Clark, et al. No auto-tune (digitally adjusting the pitch of singers who can’t get into the same area code as the actual note). No pocketing (digitally adjusting the beat of the music).

  • Terry July 2, 2021, 7:46 AM

    What a wonderful start of my day! Glen Campbell, a true Patriotic American!

  • Sam L. July 2, 2021, 9:49 AM

    Heckuva singer, too!

  • Callmelennie July 2, 2021, 10:12 AM

    Second stanza is one of the most deeply affecting in all of pop history. Gave me chills as a kid, and I didnt even know what half of it meant

  • Casey Klahn July 2, 2021, 12:55 PM

    Some commenter on this site once described GC as being in a group of one. I agree wholeheartedly.

    We needed his music then; those were fukn hard times (Vietnam, Nixon, inflation, economy, social upheaval).

    Here’s a Toby Keith song. Not in the same category, and loosely the same genre, but this song did strike me this morning. Don’t want to bruise the thread, but take it for what it is: a fresh song about America.


  • Vanderleun July 2, 2021, 3:33 PM

    Thread unbruised and a new item born.

  • ghostsniper July 3, 2021, 4:53 AM

    Jimmy Webb’s inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through Washita County in rural southwestern Oklahoma. At that time, many telephone companies were county-owned utilities, and their linemen were county employees.

    Heading westward on a straight road into the setting sun, Webb drove past a seemingly endless line of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silhouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole. He described it as “the picture of loneliness”. Webb then “put himself atop that pole and put that phone in his hand” as he considered what the lineman was saying into the receiver.

    It was a splendidly vivid, cinematic image that I lifted out of my deep memory while I was writing this song. I thought, I wonder if I can write something about that? A blue collar, everyman guy we all see everywhere – working on the railroad or working on the telephone wires or digging holes in the street. I just tried to take an ordinary guy and open him up and say, ‘Look there’s this great soul, and there’s this great aching, and this great loneliness inside this person and we’re all like that. We all have this capacity for these huge feelings’.

    Campbell said “When I heard it I cried…It made me cry because I was homesick.”

    “one of those rare songs that seems somehow to exist in a world of its own – not just timeless but ultimately outside of modern music”

  • Skorpion July 3, 2021, 11:22 AM

    @ghostsniper, that is a brilliant quote. It absolutely captures the beauty and power of the song — one of a handful of PERFECT tunes recorded in history.