The Story Behind The Song: “Wichita Lineman”

Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell’s professional career began in 1954 as a member of his uncle’s country band in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By 1960 he had decided to make his way to Los Angeles in an attempt to make his mark as a session musician. His prowess on the guitar was immediately noticed and Glen became a member of “The Wrecking Crew,” the West Coast’s answer to Nashville’s renowned “A Team.” The Wrecking Crew was a group of musicians that played on almost all of the biggest pop records coming out of Los Angeles by such artists as Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, to name just a few.

While working as a session player, Campbell also made his vocal debut with a modest #61 tally on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart with “Turn Around, Look At Me” on the tiny Crest label. This small success helped Glen secure a record deal from Capitol Records in 1962. His first release for Capitol, a cover of Al Dexter’s 1944 number one country hit “Too Late To Worry, Too Blue To Cry,” provided Campbell with another minor pop entry, but when subsequent singles failed to chart, Capitol strongly considered dropping him from the label.

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