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CNN LARRY KING WEEKEND

Interview With Glen Campbell

Aired April 7, 2002 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, country music legend Glen Campbell, who shot to fame with some of the country's most memorable hits. The drugs and alcohol and broken love affairs almost brought that world crushing down. Now he opens up about his extraordinary career, rocky love life, fighting and beating substance abuse, and a lot more. And it's all next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

It's a great pleasure to have as our special guest tonight on this special edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND, Glen Campbell.

And we're so happy, not only that he's here, but that the "Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" is back. They're going to rerun all these shows. They're doing it now on CMT.

How did this work out? How did this happen?

GLEN CAMPBELL, COUNTRY MUSIC LEGEND: Well, I did a special for, like, VH1, I think it was. And maybe that had something to do with it.

But the people that saw the shows there, and saw the people that were on the show, you know, like Cher and Neil Diamond and myself. And Ella Fitzgerald and, you know, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Rogers. And one week we had Johnny Cash and Roy.

KING: Let's show what aired from January 1969 to June of '72, initially on CBS.

CAMPBELL: Right.

KING: The goodtime -- you got a lot of great guests together.

CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah.

KING: These shows have -- as you said -- the late Roger Miller, ...

CAMPBELL: Yeah.

KING: ... what a talent. Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder.

CAMPBELL: Yeah.

KING: Ella Fitzgerald. CAMPBELL: Right.

KING: Boy, you had a good time doing that.

CAMPBELL: Oh, I did. And all I had to do was say, "Hi, I'm Glen Campbell" and sing, because the writers were just totally off of the wall.

KING: And now CMT is going to air them. They're going to air them. And ...

CAMPBELL: Yeah.

KING: ... regularly.

CAMPBELL: Yeah. One's aired already, and they're going to air them every week.

KING: That's great.

CAMPBELL: Till they run out of them, I hope.

KING: And you're still working regularly, right, aren't you? I mean, do you still do ...

CAMPBELL: Yes. I'm working too much, actually.

We're going in with Andy Williams again in Branson. And that's really ...

KING: Good old Branson.

CAMPBELL: ... it's a fabulous show. We're going in on April. We start April 19th through -- we're going to go up early, though, and tape something for the Jerry Lewis Telethon.

It's April 19th through June. And then we go back in the 7th of October -- September through October.

And I've got to go out and do, like, 45 minutes or something. And then Andy does, and then I get to sing with Andy. And it's just a hoot. I mean, ...

KING: By the way, half of this show tonight is going to be Glen singing, because nobody had the -- how many hits did you have, bona fide hits?

CAMPBELL: I don't know.

KING: They came one after the other.

CAMPBELL: I think, 20 -- 30-something? I think, you know, you charted ...

KING: What was the first?

CAMPBELL: The very first big one I had was "Turn Around and Look At Me."

KING: And how did that come -- where were you at the time? How did that -- how did we get to know you?

CAMPBELL: I was -- I'd been out on the road with The Champs, and I'd ...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Champs out on the ...

CAMPBELL: Yes. And I also played on "Limbo Rock." (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You remember when they was running under the stick routine?

And that was a pretty big hit.

KING: Yeah, where you went down in Jamaica.

CAMPBELL: Yeah. And I went out on the road with Danny and the Juniors, and Jack Scott. That was a big tour in, I think, '61.

And then I had the hit with "Turn Around and Look At Me" in 1962.

KING: Were you always a singer, too?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. I was always a singer.

KING: Because you could sing and play guitar.

As I said to you before we set up, Frank Sinatra considered you one of the great guitar players.

CAMPBELL: Oh, ...

KING: Just purely as a guitar player.

CAMPBELL: Oh, and I did get to work with him on a record. I got to play on "Strangers In the Night," you know.

KING: Were you a guitar player who sang? Or a singer who played guitar?

CAMPBELL: I was both of those. No, ...

KING: You always did, they both combined.

CAMPBELL: I -- if I'm -- I sit around and play guitar more than I sit around and sing. I'll put it that way. So ...

KING: So, you're more comfortable just playing, right?

CAMPBELL: Yeah, I ...

KING: But you love singing.

CAMPBELL: I love singing. I just love it ...

KING: And once that hit started, they started -- yes?

CAMPBELL: Well, ...

KING: How did that song come about?

CAMPBELL: ... Carl (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I wrote half of it, but I can -- because there is someone who really needs you. Here's my heart in my hand. Then Jerry Capehart.

But I could make more money in this town doing sessions than I could on the road.

I remember going -- and I opened for The Doors, and ...

KING: Really.

CAMPBELL: Yes. Here I go out and I'm out there singing, "Turn Around and Look At Me," and I only had to do like 20 minutes, you know.

And ...

(CROSSTALK)

CAMPBELL: ... I did "Turn Around and Look At Me" first, so they'd know who I was, because that record was a pretty big hit up there, you know.

KING: And The Doors come out.

CAMPBELL: And then The Doors come out. And we played that -- we played that in Oregon and Washington and ...

(CROSSTALK)

CAMPBELL: ... Seattle, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- oh, they were incredible. They were ...

KING: Talented but wild.

CAMPBELL: I had never seen anything like that on stage. They were, like, you know, everything, you know, from (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was a talented guy, wasn't he.

CAMPBELL: He was.

KING: A tragedy that he got into ...

CAMPBELL: He was -- he had incredible charisma. Yeah, I mean, you could sit -- he could walk in a room, you know, and you could feel it. He was one of those guys. He was like Elvis, that type of person.

KING: So once it burst through for you, and you became a major single act, ... CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah, ...

KING: ... then it concerts, Vegas, right -- all of that.

CAMPBELL: Exactly. The whole shooting match. But I liked to stay there and do that studio work, because I could make more money doing that.

Brian, in 1965, took -- went off for the road -- Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys -- and he set down, it took him two years to write "Pet Sounds."

And then that meantime, I went out on the road with the Beach Boys, played bass and sing the high part, which was fun.

KING: You were one of the Beach Boys.

CAMPBELL: Yes. Oh, and it was fun, too.

KING: Even after having the hit record.

CAMPBELL: Yeah. After having the hit record. And I had a couple of albums out, three or four albums out, but I didn't -- I really enjoyed being in the studio and working, like, you know, with like Quincy Jones, "In the Heat of the Night".

You know, I wrote, "Bow-legged Polly and a Knock-Kneed Paul." And Ray Charles, oh ...

KING: Were you a natural, Glen?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. God gave me the gift to play and sing. He really did, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) never ...

KING: Did you take guitar lessons?

CAMPBELL: No.

KING: Never took a ...

CAMPBELL: No. I've been singing and playing the guitar ever since I can remember.

KING: Where did you grow up?

CAMPBELL: Down in Arkansas.

KING: Why did you write so openly about yourself in "Rhinestone Cowboy"?

CAMPBELL: Well, I said it -- you know how you'll say something a certain way, and the guy just writing it doesn't say it the way you said it.

I'll put it -- just to actually -- just to get it all out and say, this is what happened, you know. And ... KING: Because you really let it all out.

CAMPBELL: Yeah, I did.

KING: You told about the Tanya Tucker story.

CAMPBELL: Yeah.

KING: The affairs that went bad. The marriages that went bad. Your own problems with addiction. Did that cleanse it for you?

CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah.

KING: Did it help you to write that?

CAMPBELL: Yes, it did. In fact -- and, well, and Bill Clinton helped me a lot, because I quit smoking also, because I'd heard Bill -- I didn't know until about 12 years ago that people from Arkansas didn't inhale, so I said, why smoke, you know?

So I quite smoking.

KING: That's a good line. That would have been on the "Goodtime Hour," wouldn't it ...

CAMPBELL: Yeah, that would have.

KING: ... have. Man that would have led the "Goodtime Hour."

CAMPBELL: That would have. I still use it, too, on the show.

But, you know, to be clean and to go out and play and sing, I'm really enjoying it.

KING: Do you look back on the Tanya Tucker episode as a bad one?

CAMPBELL: No, I saw it as ...

KING: I mean, you were married. You were older, and suddenly you fall madly in love with this woman. I mean, as you look back.

CAMPBELL: No, actually, I wouldn't say madly in love. I'd say, it was ...

KING: Madly, then.

CAMPBELL: She was there at the time that -- when Sarah and I broke up, so. That was -- it was just one of those things that happened.

And we were definitely not made for each other. I know -- I went into Tanya's, you know, we were -- she's a great singer. She's a great presence on stage.

But we just -- it just didn't work, you know.

KING: Were you sad at the tabloid reaction to you?

CAMPBELL: Well, you know how that goes?

KING: Were you ticked?

CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah. I got mad at them sometimes, you know. I didn't say anything, though. They said ...

KING: Just keep going ...

CAMPBELL: Yeah. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. I remembered that from when I was a kid, and I said, whatever happens will happen. I won't be a part of it.

KING: Also, success is pretty good revenge, right?

CAMPBELL: Yes, it is. It's a ...

KING: The songs that we're going to get into, the songs you sang, we're going to be listening to them.

More about the life and times of Glen Campbell. We're happy to tell you, the "Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" is back on CMT, the country music TV channel. All those great shows with unbelievable guests -- shows you could not afford to do now.

CAMPBELL: No, ...

KING: You couldn't do those shows now.

CAMPBELL: ... you couldn't.

KING: We'll be right back, and he's going to sing for us, too. Don't go away.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLEN CAMPBELL: ... let's do some of that pickin' and grinnin' that you do on "Hee Haw," OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, let's do it.

CAMPBELL: You ready? Three, four ...

(MUSIC)

CAMPBELL: Hey, Buck, you hear about my cousin Leroy? He got a divorce due to illness.

BUCK: A divorce due to illness?

CAMPBELL: Yeah, his wife got sick of him. (LAUGHTER)

BUCK: Hey, Minnie, last week I come home at four in the morning. My old lady just hit the ceiling.

MINNIE PEARL: Was she mad?

BUCK: No, she's just a lousy shot.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Glen Campbell. Do you have any contact with Tanya now at all?

CAMPBELL: No. I haven't talked to her in 15, 17 years -- 18 ...

KING: Really.

CAMPBELL: ... yeah.

KING: Never crossed paths at a concert together or ...

CAMPBELL: No. I saw her in -- I don't remember.

KING: How did you defeat addiction?

CAMPBELL: Well, I turned to God and said, you know, I can't do it by myself. I need some help, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: Because you were both drugs and liquor, right?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. It was ...

KING: That's a bad combination ...

CAMPBELL: ... all of those.

KING: ... to begin with, had been (ph) individually, even.

CAMPBELL: And I'm a cheap drunk, you know, and I'm a cheap high. I'll put it that way and I could not be around marijuana.

I could walk in a room where somebody had been smoking and I would -- it would immediately affect me. Because I guess that's the way my metabolism is.

Same way with alcohol. I, you know, I'm a guy that definitely cannot hold his liquor, you know.

I can -- I could take a shot of whiskey and be on a pretty good buzz.

KING: You're allergic.

CAMPBELL: Yeah, I guess my -- probably what it was.

KING: By the way, do you know why we -- I guess this is not answerable, I asked Betty Ford about it -- why more successful people who you would think don't need that extra kick, go for that extra kick?

CAMPBELL: You got me. I never drank when I was a kid, because if you did, you know, daddy would wear the back side of your pants out.

But I remember, I didn't drink for a long time because I got in an old home brew jug, you know, down by the spring, and it wasn't done yet. And I drank about a ...

KING: Moonshine.

CAMPBELL: ... big, about a glass of that, yeah. And I thought I was going to die for two days.

No, it was the home brew, the old yellow stuff. And it really, like, as you say, it broke you from sucking eggs.

Yeah, we had a dog that would get in the nest, and dad would open up a little bitty hole in the eggshell and he'd put real hot sauce in there. The dog would get one of them, and he'd never go in that hen house again.

And that's the way I was about ...

KING: So you were off it for a while.

CAMPBELL: I was off it, yes.

But I got into the drinking scotch and soda and it -- I would, like I said, I'm a cheap drunk, so I was pretty well loaded most, a lot of -- most of the time during that whole period.

KING: Were you working drunk? Could you go onstage ...

CAMPBELL: Well, not drunk -- oh, yeah, I'd go on stage.

KING: With cocaine?

CAMPBELL: Yes. With cocaine. With a ...

KING: And do your act and remember the lyrics? And ...

CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah. Roger Miller said I remembered the words and the lyrics, too.

Both of those.

KING: Was that difficult? Or was it easy?

CAMPBELL: It was -- I don't know. I -- you know, when the -- everything broke up, I guess I was just trying to run away from things, you know, and then just, actually not living in the real world, you know.

KING: But still you had hit records.

CAMPBELL: Yeah.

KING: I mean, things were rolling.

CAMPBELL: And it was -- boy, I don't know. I just thank God that he got me through all of that.

KING: You didn't have to go to anyplace Betty Ford, or ...

CAMPBELL: I prayed and I prayed and I prayed, and ...

KING: Were you raised in a religious house?

CAMPBELL: Yes. Mom went to church every Sunday and you drug all the kids. And ...

KING: So how did the God -- that God concept do it for you? I mean, was it a revelation one day, how it ...

CAMPBELL: Yes, actually it was. I just woke up and said, I can quit this. I know I can, and like I said, I prayed and I prayed.

And cigarettes went. I stopped smoking. And the liquor came later. And, like, all within a span of three or four weeks.

KING: No kidding.

CAMPBELL: I just clean cut everything. It was amazing, because I was awful.

KING: You've been sober now how long?

CAMPBELL: As long I've been sober. I mean, I don't, I just ...

KING: Usually people ...

CAMPBELL: ... 12 years, maybe.

KING: Do you ever think about it? Do you ever think you want to drink?

CAMPBELL: No.

KING: So you could be around it. It doesn't bother you ...

CAMPBELL: No.

KING: ... if someone drinks.

CAMPBELL: No. I will drink a glass of wine occasionally, but, you know, you can get hung on that, too.

KING: Have you -- would you say you're a born again? CAMPBELL: Oh, yes, definitely. I've -- it's all behind me. And we actually go to church on Saturday with a Messianic ...

KING: Oh, you do.

CAMPBELL: ... yeah, Jewish believers.

KING: Oh, you're like, Jews who believe in Christ.

CAMPBELL: Yeah. Well, ...

KING: Messianic Jews.

CAMPBELL: ... I'm not Jewish, but I go to that congregation.

KING: I know, that's the Jaweh like (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

CAMPBELL: Yes. Exactly.

KING: ... Beverly (ph), that's right. I know that.

CAMPBELL: And it's ...

KING: I know that church.

CAMPBELL: ... it's so different than going to a regular Sunday church, you know, because they celebrate it when the Sabbath -- that's the seventh day.

And my wife and I -- and it's a lot of fun. She's really into it. We did a whole play on the -- on Purim. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: They don't celebrate pagan holidays, though.

CAMPBELL: Right.

KING: I mean, they don't ...

CAMPBELL: No. You know, we really don't, you know. We burn the ...

KING: Has this at all affected performance, ...

CAMPBELL: No.

KING: ... one way or the other.

CAMPBELL: Oh, yes. I go out ...

KING: You're a better player.

CAMPBELL: ... yes, I'm a better player. Or a better singer.

KING: A better singer.

CAMPBELL: Yes. I'm -- in fact, since I quit smoking, I can put Hank Williams back in the show.

I can "Love Sick Blues" and "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" and I ...

KING: Couldn't do it when you were smoking?

CAMPBELL: ... could not do it when I was smoking, yes.

KING: Because.

CAMPBELL: Like, the voice, you know. And drinking, too. Whiskey really dries out your system -- alcohol does, anyway, you know.

KING: When you were performing and you were like feeling, I mean, you were on all this stuff, were you getting a kick out of it? Were you having fun?

CAMPBELL: I didn't -- I don't know.

KING: Or did it just go one thing into another? And you remembered your lyrics. You did your act, right.

CAMPBELL: Yeah. Right.

KING: Got your standing ovations. People applauding.

CAMPBELL: Yeah. And I would say mean things to people who hollered out in the audience, though, you know.

In fact, one lady come back one time and says, you know, you didn't -- and she was crying -- and said, you didn't have to say that. Because I told her to shut up, you know.

And I said, no, I don't come over there.

And what I said was, I don't come over there and jerk the mattress out from under you when you're working, so leave me alone.

And I would say mean things like that on stage.

KING: How do you explain your incredible ability to get all those great songs?

CAMPBELL: I would -- I (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: You're going to sing some of them for us in a while. But I mean, come on.

CAMPBELL: I'm blessed. And I heard "Rhinestone Cowboy" on the radio. I was coming out of a session at Capitol. And I had the albums cut station on here in L.A., and "Rhinestone Cowboy" came on. And it just, I said, that's me.

"I have been walking these streets so long, singing some same old song." I say singing, so (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: Well, who was singing it on the radio?

CAMPBELL: Larry Weiss. It was an album cut station. Don't even know which one it was, but they know. I'm sure they know.

And I went and got it and that was it. I took on a tour to Australia, and I knew it backwards by the time I got it (ph).

And Al Corey, who was head of Capitol then, I went and played it for him. I said, I've got a song for you.

He said, no I got -- I found one for you. And he played me "Rhinestone Cowboy."

KING: Same song.

CAMPBELL: Same song. And I said, well, I want to play you mine. And put him on -- I had "Rhinestone Cowboy." And it was the number one -- it was the number one record of 1975.

KING: My father-in-law Carl Engleman (ph), ...

CAMPBELL: The (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at Capitol Records says you were one of the best starters (ph) he ever worked with.

CAMPBELL: Ah, Carl's a wonderful guy. Carl really -- he helped me a lot. He doesn't know how much he helped me when I was at Capital.

KING: Yeah, he loves you.

CAMPBELL: Oh, I love Carl.

KING: We're going to take a break and come back with more on Glen Campbell, and then we're going to be hearing his music, too.

You're watching this very special edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND, and the "Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" is re-running on CMT TV.

We'll be right back.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

KING: So what was it like to work with John Wayne?

CAMPBELL: Kind of felt like a fish out of water, you know.

KING: "True Grit" ...

CAMPBELL: It was fabulous. Oh, yeah.

KING: Good movie.

CAMPBELL: Well, see, he had tried almost every one of -- Fabian and Frankie Avalon, and these people. He'd had them in a movie. But he didn't have anybody to give him that push he needed.

So, that's where I came in. I always say that I made John Wayne look so good in "True Grit," he won his only Oscar.

KING: You pulled him through. You, he ...

CAMPBELL: I pulled him through.

KING: Was the hardest part of all of this when you were involved in the end of Matt Davis' marriage.

CAMPBELL: Yeah. That was a terrible time.

KING: Because you broke their marriage up, right?

CAMPBELL: No, no. Well, ...

KING: What did happen?

CAMPBELL: ... I didn't know. She told me they were -- done.

KING: Oh, so you didn't know you were breaking up a marriage.

CAMPBELL: No. And I was broke up. And it just ...

KING: Did the press have it wrong?

CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah. Definitely. You can't, you know, you can't break up anything unless somebody wants you to.

KING: Did it end a friendship between you and Davis?

CAMPBELL: Yeah, I talk to Mike. I saw him out at Bellaire.

KING: He's a born ...

CAMPBELL: To say hi.

KING: ... he's a born again, too, isn't he?

CAMPBELL: You know, I don't know.

KING: I think ...

CAMPBELL: I'm going to ...

KING: ... pretty sure he is.

CAMPBELL: ... I'm going to talk to him when I see him (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: Where were you on September 11? CAMPBELL: Oh, wow. I was in Branson, Missouri, with Andy.

KING: Working.

CAMPBELL: Working. And that was -- boy, that was the most ...

KING: Did you get up -- did someone wake you up? Were you up?

CAMPBELL: Oh, I was up. But I didn't see it, the first time. I mean, I'd seen it -- I saw that it was on the news.

I think it's the worst thing that's probably ever happened to this earth -- on this earth. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ...

KING: How did you hear about it?

CAMPBELL: I saw it on TV and I ...

KING: Oh, you were watching, ...

CAMPBELL: ... was just totally ...

KING: ... I thought ...

CAMPBELL: ... yeah, and then I was watching when the first building came down. And it was just ...

KING: Did you perform that night?

CAMPBELL: Yes. Andy and I performed. And I -- and for some reason, I did "God Bless the USA" at the end of the show, and it was just -- ah -- it was just -- everybody was in tears.

Yeah, I'm almost in tears now.

KING: That was a difficult ...

CAMPBELL: Oh ...

KING: ... wasn't it difficult to work that night?

CAMPBELL: Yes. It was really, really difficult to work that night.

But Andy said, people have come. They know what's happened. They've seen it on the news all day.

And I said, whatever you want to do, Andy, is fine with me. And so we just, we went ahead and did the show.

KING: When you work with Andy, is it -- do you both sing together?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. Oh, he's so much ...

KING: Because you're different kind of singers. CAMPBELL: Well, he can sing anything, and, you know, I can -- God gave -- blessed me with a voice to sing anything with.

And it's -- Andy and I have -- he's got such a great range. And we ...

KING: Still got it, yeah.

CAMPBELL: ... he, and he's still got it. The boy's still got it. I mean ...

KING: Though he lost it for a while, right.

CAMPBELL: That's why he wanted somebody to come in with him, you know, to help share the load a little, because he was doing two hours by himself. And doing all the sketches and running and, you know, Andy's -- you know, he was like in his late 60s. And he just can't do that.

And I told him that. I said, I was wondering when you was going to get somebody to open (ph) this show for you, anyway.

And when he asked me to, I said, yes. I would love to do that, because I really love singing with Andy, because we grew up the same way. You know, youngest in a family of singers, and you had to sing every part, you know.

So, Andy and I, it was just such a natural for us to do the harmony stuff.

We do a city medley, you know, at the end, because I say, hey, you did a lot of city songs. And we, you know, we do all the city ...

KING: "Galveston,"

CAMPBELL: Yes.

KING: ... "Time I Get To Phoenix."

CAMPBELL: Right. Mine, but we did all, you know, like "Chattanooga Choo" -- you know, "Going to Kansas City." All the, and -- "I'll take Manhattan, the docks in Staten Island, too."

And we just do all city songs in a medley, and it's just wonderful.

KING: Were you friendly with Elvis Presley?

CAMPBELL: Yes, I was -- I was a dear friend of Elvis'. And Elvis really liked me. And -- well, he did. He said, "Glen, you're really a -- you're my friend. I appreciate it."

KING: Did you know that he was into the stuff he was into?

CAMPBELL: No. I did not. No. I didn't -- and I still don't know what it was that killed him. In my own mind I don't. One night I was driving to do the "Donnie and Marie Show" and somebody says, you hear Elvis died?

And I just instantly broke up. I couldn't believe it. I had to -- I pulled around to the corner of Channel 5 and, then, and just sat there and cried, because I really, really loved Elvis Presley.

He was such a nice human being, because ...

KING: We never heard a bad thing about him.

CAMPBELL: Never heard a bad thing about Elvis Presley.

KING: And that's true. I never heard anyone in show business say anything but nice things about him.

CAMPBELL: He was nice. I was -- I got to play on the "Viva Las Vegas" soundtrack and stuff like that, because ...

KING: Did you?

CAMPBELL: Yeah. I met him in '56. He came through with Faren (ph) Young show, in ...

KING: Before he was big.

CAMPBELL: ... in Albuquerque. Yeah. He was supposedly opening for the Faren (ph) Young show. And Faren (ph) made the mistake of having -- of Elvis opening the show the first night in Amarillo on the tour.

When they go to Albuquerque, Faren (ph) went out and did his show, and then introduced his special guest.

It was the most awesome thing I'd ever seen in my life, just he and the three guys, was better than I've ever seen anybody.

I got to see Johnny Cash with just Johnny and the Tennessee Two. But he had three, ...

KING: Wasn't it difficult to have hits of your own, and then go play backup for someone? I mean, ...

CAMPBELL: No.

KING: ... you like studio work so much that you could have a number one hit record and go in on a recording session, ...

CAMPBELL: Yeah.

KING: ... where you're, like, lead guitar, right?

CAMPBELL: Right. Or rhythm guitar.

I went in in 1970 with Merle Haggard and did "Carolyn" with him, sang harmony with him on it. Because I did all the harmony background singing with Merle before. I (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

And Merle asked if we could do it when he did the TV show.

KING: Was there a downside to success ...

CAMPBELL: Ah.

KING: ... for you?

CAMPBELL: I think the down -- the downside was what it did to Billie (ph) and the kids, you know.

I just -- I was making good money as a studio musician. But I think the fame and everything, I think that would be the downside of it, that everything -- I wasn't treated the same way. And I didn't like that that much, you know.

KING: I ...

CAMPBELL: Like most of the people that I knew did. But I wasn't just -- I couldn't walk down the street, you know, everybody was ...

KING: And that success (ph) ...

CAMPBELL: ... that was a shock.

KING: ... can be harder than failure.

CAMPBELL: Yes. But I'll take success over failure.

KING: Being rich is better than being poor.

Glen Campbell is our special guest. When we come back, we going to be standing over there. And you're going to hear the great man do great things.

Don't go away.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEL TILLIS, COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER: I want to be an -- an -- auction...

GLEN CAMPBELL, COUNTRY MUSIC LEGEND: An auction leader (ph)?

TILLIS: No, an auction -- an auction, uh...

CAMPBELL: An auctioneer?

TILLIS: That's it.

CAMPBELL: There is no way. TILLIS: Oh, yes -- yes, there is a way. I know I can't -- sing it -- can't talk it -- but I can say it -- but say it if I -- sing it. I can say it if I -- I can say it if I sing it.

CAMPBELL: Well, give me a for instance.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: As promised, the rest of the way is going to be Glen Campbell and his music. We've already talked about "Rhinestone Cowboy" and the incredible story of that song. Tell me a little about the second one you are going to do, "Gentle On My Mind."

CAMPBELL: Oh, uh, I heard that on the radio.

KING: Again!

CAMPBELL: Again, I heard it on the radio. It was a country station here -- and, uh, I'd flip it around -- and when I heard it -- "Gentle On My Mind" just sounded like such a nice phrase, you know...

KING: So you said, I'm going to do that one, too...

CAMPBELL: Every smile and every guess (ph) -- and boy, it worked.

KING: All right, back to back, folks -- we'll be back -- and here's "Gentle On My Mind" -- the great Glen Campbell.

CAMPBELL: Thanks, Larry.

(MUSIC)

CAMPBELL: Thank you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

KING: Our next duo of songs, "Galveston," and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," both written by Jimmy Webb.

CAMPBELL: Jimmy Webb. Right.

KING: How did you latch on to these two songs?

CAMPBELL: "By the Time I Get To Phoenix," I got off of an old Johnny Rivers album.

KING: You can't...

CAMPBELL: ...made me so homesick -- I couldn't believe it. And Jimmy wrote "Wichita Lineman" for me.

KING: Really?

CAMPBELL: It was the most...

KING: And we're going to hear that one -- what about "Phoenix?" Uh, "Galveston."

CAMPBELL: Oh, "Galveston," that -- uh -- Don Ho was doing a television show and he said -- cause it was a ballad -- he wrote it as a ballad -- and Don Ho sang it "Galveston -- oh Galveston..." And I saw ...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: ...and that's in Hawaii...

CAMPBELL: ...Yeah! He did it that way! But I just picked the tempo up on it, and sang it fast. And it worked.

KING: Some amazing hits for you...

CAMPBELL: Oh. Huge.

KING: All right. We're going to hear them back-to-back. "Galveston" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," and then later we'll learn the "Wichita Lineman" story, in our last segment. "Galveston" and "Phoenix."

(MUSIC)

CAMPBELL: And, uh, this is one of my favorite songs that Jimmy Webb wrote. I cried, I was homesick, I wanted to go home.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

KING: It's our final segment with the great Glen Campbell. Tomorrow night, by the way, Michael J. Fox will be our special guest for the full hour. Going to do two songs to close it out, "Wichita Lineman" and "Southern Nights." First, on "Wichita Lineman," you said that was written for you...

CAMPBELL: Yes. Jimmy Webb went from -- I -- they took me over to his house, and he had the big, huge, big organ thing, so he could get all the sounds -- you know -- all the Ps and Qs -- and we had the -- uh -- I take it apart, and take it down to the studio -- all them weird kind of sounds on it -- it really worked, too. Yeah, he did write it for me, and I'm so appreciative.

KING: So, he said, I have you in mind, with this song...

CAMPBELL: Yes, and it was the most played song of the millennium.

KING: Yeah. Of the millennium -- that's correct. Did you like it right away?

CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah -- I just -- I -- "you wrote this for me?"

KING: And what about our closing number, "Southern Nights?"

CAMPBELL: Alan Touissant, I heard Alan Touissant's record of it. It was the only other song in musical history -- of American music -- that was written on the Oriental scale, that was a hit. You know what the other one was? "Buttons and Bows." Bob Hope said people would come out, and -- you know -- the Japanese people would come out...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Enough for me. Whoa! We close it out -- Glen Campbell, "Wichita Lineman" and "Southern Nights." Thank you.

CAMPBELL: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Good to have you with me. Beautiful!

(MUSIC)

CAMPBELL: Thank you. "Southern Nights!" Thank you.

(MUSIC)

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