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Rhinestone Lineman

GlenHe may have been the Rhinestone Cowboy...but, to me, he was the Wichita Lineman.

The insanely talented Glen Campbell departed terra firma earlier this week after fighting through Alzheimer's. His amazing performances in 2011, in the throws of that insidious disease, produced goosebumps.

An accomplished session player that appeared on recordings from artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys, it was when he connected with songwriter Jimmy Webb that the world discovered this rare talent.

Jim Steinman was Meat Loaf's muse. Karla Bonoff supplied Linda Ronstadt with some of her biggest hits. And, nobody did Lowell George better than Robert Palmer.

So it was with Jimmy and Glen. Campbell heard a version of Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" by Johnny Rivers and heard it differently. And, then...there was the haunting "Wichita Lineman." And a succession of albums that rarely didn't include a Jimmy Webb composition.

In our celebration of Glen's magnificent life and magic on this Music Friday, we offer this version of "Wichita Lineman."

With Jimmy's sensational lyric: "I need you more than want you. And I want you for all time."

Godspeed, Glen.


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Bill Geist

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