7″ Black Gold
Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

This song is so unique that a whole book is dedicated to it, written by Dylan Jones, one of the best writers on music and pop culture of our time.

“Wichita Lineman” is a song written by the American songwriter Jimmy Webb in 1968. It was first recorded by the American country music artist Glen Campbell with backing from members of The Wrecking Crew and has since been widely covered by other artists. It has been referred to as “the first existential country song”.

As Webb put it: “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.”

Glen Campbell’s version, which appeared on his 1968 album of the same name, reached number 3 on the US pop chart, remaining in the Top 100 for 15 weeks. “Wichita Lineman” is a cinematic ride, a daydream full of magic and melancholy.

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