Relive Glen Campbell’s Performance Of ‘Wichita Lineman’
A Bit of Nostalgia
When Glen Campbell appeared on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, he played his best known song “Wichita Lineman”.
Written by songwriter Jimmy Webb, Campbell wanted a follow-up to “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and he specifically requested for a “place” or “geographical” song. Webb found inspiration after driving past several telephone poles through Washita County. He then saw a lineman atop a pole, calling it “the picture of loneliness”.
After first hearing the demo, Campbell instantly loved it and was so excited that Webb had to tell him to go away and leave him to finish writing the lyrics. Campbell recalled, “When I heard it, I cried… It made me cry because I was homesick.”
Webb said in a interview with SongFacts, “On certain songs, the magic is undeniable: ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix.’ And it’s almost as though the song was waiting for the singer and the singer was waiting for the song.”
“Wichita Lineman” has been covered by countless artists including Ray Charles, Tom Jones, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Johnny Cash, R.E.M., Kool & the Gang, and Guns N’ Roses to name a few. Watch Glen Campbell’s performance below.