I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in what was then a small town in south Georgia…Valdosta. I’m not sure how many radio stations there were total in the area, but the two big ones (for a small town) were WVLD and WJEM. WVLD played Top 40 music and was where I first heard Peter, Paul and Mary and Credence Clearwater Revival and where I listened to Rainy Night in Georgia and Smile a Little Smile For Me over and over, along with hundreds of other songs that became long running hits and others that were one hit wonders. (Did you know the original Signs was a United States one hit wonder song in 1971 by a Canadian group called the 5 Man Electrical Band?)
I can’t remember the last time I heard WVLD…I can’t even remember the last time I was even near Valdosta, but I remember WVLD was 1450 on the AM dial. Just down the AM dial at 1150 was WJEM, the big country music station in town. This was back in the day when country music was what I call real country...one of the strongest memories of specific incidents related to my late father was his taking me to school at Valdosta Jr High School in the 9th grade and listening to Tammy Wynette singing Divorce morning after morning after morning. Elvis, Conway Twitty, George Jones…now THAT was country music!
Anyway, all this is to make the point that one of my all time favorites, Glen Campbell, was played on both stations.Glen didn’t try to play country and he didn’t try to play Top 40…Glen Campbell played Glen Campbell, and everyone loved it.
I read an interview recently that Glen did a couple of years ago. In the interview he was self-deprecating as usual but said one thing that jumped out at me because it was so…so…just wrong! This was back about the time that he quit performing because of his advancing Alzheimer’s Disease. Folks had been making a big fuss over him as the l
ast of his goodbye concerts approached. Glen said he was nothing special, and that most folks would probably forget him soon after his last performance.
Rhinestone Cowboy…you were wrong. We won’t forget you, and we sure miss your singing.