Should Peyton Retire

Should Peyton Retire?

Should Peyton Retire?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

GLEN CAMPBELL, OVATION GUITARS, ETC


Some of you may know that Glen Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and has released a 'final album' Ghost on the Canvas (official video) and is on an extended farewell concert tour (details at the Campbell link above).

A while back, I had the opportunity to chat a bit with Campbell.  He was attending the President's Reception for new students and faculty which is held each year at the Pepperdine President's Residence.  I believe that one of his children, Ashley, was an incoming student that year, and President Benton invited Campbell to join the President's Midlife Crisis rock and roll band for a couple of tunes including a rousing rendition of the classic Johnny B. Goode.  As he was awaiting his turn on the stage, I started our conversation talking about Ovation guitars because I knew that he played one on his TV show, the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.  In the 1960's, by way of a college friend connection (Henry Gleeson's dad worked for Kaman Sciences), I was able to get a very early production (#449) Ovation Balladeer, and as we chatted about his TV show and guitar playing, he reminded me that he has a line of Ovation guitars, designed by and named for him. Also, it turns out that Campbell was raised in the Churches of Christ, which is Pepperdine's affiliation.

Here are a couple of pictures of a 1976 Balladeer that is very similar to my circa 1966 guitar - the unique and ground-breaking feature was the single piece, molded composite back.  Charles Kaman was an engineer and a guitarist and along with his engineers, came up with the design as an acoustical enhancement.  Note the narrow neck - as I got older, my fat fingers have a hard time negotiating the frets, so I finally broke down and bought a wider-necked Martin.



As with all of us, time has marched on and Campbell had definitely aged since the halcyon days of the youthful guitar-playing singer.  



And like many celebrities, Campbell has a couple of mugshots, found here.  I would venture that you all can name a few of Campbell songs and perhaps even have a favorite that you would like to share in the comment section.  While I appreciate many of his tunes, I cannot say that any are on my Top 10, 25 or perhaps even 100.  However, among his many hits, this one is probably my favorite:


Written by Jimmy Webb

I am a lineman for the county.
And I drive the mainroad.
Searchin' in the sun for another overload.
I hear you singing in the wire.
I can hear you thru the whine.
And the Wichita Lineman,
is still on the line.

I know I need a small vacation.
But it don't look like rain.
And if it snows that stretch down south,
won't ever stand the strain.

And I need you more than want you.  And I want you for all time.
And the Wichita Lineman,
is still on the line.

And finally, for you old codgers [like me] here is a real blast from the past:

 

8 comments:

Just Wonderin' said...

Shouldn't that be "linePERSON for the county"? Or maybe just say he was a "line" for the county? Many pussified organizations now call the chairman a "chair" (a movable article, often made of wood, with seat, back, and legs, used for sitting). Would make as much sense.

Dr S said...

JW - I tend to agree about the 'chair'-talk. When I was a Chairman, I called myself a Chairman, and the other Division heads were either a Chairman or a Chairwoman as far as I was concerned.

Chair is also a verb, eh? :-)

Phil L. said...

Hey, Just, was "just wonderin'" why you don't give Dr. S's readers a bleepin' break.

Bizzy Brain said...

Wichita Lineman is my favorite Glen Campbell song. Something so haunting about it. I think of these modern day troubadours (Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Rich, etc.) as sensitive loners, often using alcohol and pills to uplift their melancholy spirits.
However, a true Wichita lineman is probably the opposite. If some babe lost interest in him, he could march into any honky-tonk bar and march out with practically any woman he wanted.

hoosierdaddy said...

Phil L - let's not be too hard on Just Wonderin' - probably got up on the wrong side of the bed, if he got up at all!

Dr S said...

Campbell fans - check this out: http://spectator.org/archives/2012/02/28/the-light-still-shines-on-glen#comment_760327

H/T to Cousin Steve for the link.

trekrider said...

"(#449) Ovation Balladeer"
Ovation has yet to make a production guitar that exceeds the first models, in sound or beauty. I have #495 and #1911. Yours was probably made in 67. Every bit of it handmade, from bowl to bridge.

Douglas E said...

trekrider - thanks for your comments, and I tend to agree with your assessment of Ovations. I played some of the newer models and decided to get a Martin rather than another Ovation. Interesting that you also have a 400 numbered Balladeer!