Galveston – Glen Campbell

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………….on April 19th of 1969 Glen Campbell ascends to #1 on the Billboard country singles chart with “Galveston”. The song was written by songwriter Jimmy Webb, who also wrote Campbell’s hits “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman.” Webb also wrote “MacArthur Park,” which was a hit for both Richard Harris and Donna Summer, and “Up-Up and Away,” which was recorded by The 5th Dimension. Galveston is a city on the coast of Texas that attracts lots of hurricanes. Webb was on a beach in Galveston when he wrote this. He made up the story about a soldier in the Spanish-American war and the girl he left behind. Most songwriters never find themselves in places like Galveston or Wichita, but Webb found inspiration in the people he encountered in these places.The Vietnam War was going on when Campbell released this. It was considered an antiwar song though the song was about a time during the Spanish-American war at the turn of the last century. The Hawaiian singer Don Ho was the first to record this song, releasing it as the B-side of his single “Has Anybody Lost A Love?” in 1968. Ho recalled that when he appeared on Campbell’s show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in 1969, he gave Campbell a copy of the single and told him, “I didn’t have any luck with this, maybe you will.” Little Richard, who speaks his mind and doesn’t hand out praise lightly, said of this song: “When Glen Campbell says one word ‘Galveston’ – it shakes me up. It takes me, man, that’s the whole soul of it right there.”This made the CMT Top Ten list of all-time great country music songs. The song not only reached the top of the country charts but was also a huge crossover hit. It peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart and reached the Top 20 in the UK at #14.