Galveston – The fascinating evolution of a pop classic

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With the passing of the great musician, BBC4 have recently reshown“Glenn Campbell: The Rhinestone Cowboy”. It is a very interesting portrait of the man.

It also gives us a fascinating insight into Glenn Campbell’s partnership with song writer Jimmy Webb.

The evolution of Galveston is particularly interesting. Jimmy Webb wrote it as a slow anti-war ballad (which you can hear below). Glenn Campbell then gave it a boisterous up-beat edge, making it a pop classic. Jimmy Webb was anti-war, bearing in mind this was 1969 and the era of the Vietnam War. Glenn Campbell was a Republican who had highly pro-war guests, such as John Wayne and Bob Hope, on his massively popular CBS TV show, “The Glenn Campbell GoodTime Hour”. Such tensions behind the Campbell/Webb partnership no doubt contributed to one of the most successful partnerships in popular music history.

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