Glen Campbell Cowboy Hall of Fame
Glen Campbell performing in Nashville, TN. 1985. © RTGwinn/MediaPunch/IPX

Country Rewind: Glen Campbell's Forgotten Jimmy Webb Collaboration, 'Cowboy Hall of Fame'

In the late '60s and early '70s, C&W stood for something else in Los Angeles and Nashville: Campbell and Webb. Back then, Glen Campbell went from a sought-after studio guitarist and part-time member of The Beach Boys to a country music sensation with crossover pop appeal. This jump from behind the scenes with the Wrecking Crew of studio musicians to solo stardom can largely be credited to such Jimmy Webb compositions as "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."

Campbell's Country Music Hall of Fame inclusion was due to more than one songwriter, considering the success he found with the works of John Hartford ("Gentle on My Mind"), Allen Touissant ("Southern Nights") and Larry Weiss ("Rhinestone Cowboy"). Still, his special bond with Webb aided the careers of two American music masters—an Arkansas farm boy and a still-active Okie made good—well beyond a late '60s haul of shared Grammy awards.

By 1985, Campbell lacked the pop culture clout he enjoyed as host of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour variety show and as a co-star in the John Wayne classic True Grit. Yet just like albums from Johnny Cash's unfairly derided Mercury Records years (1987-1991), Campbell's output in between his '60s and '70s run with Capitol Records and increased late-career interest during his well-publicized battle with Alzheimer's disease featured underrated deep cuts.

Read More: This Video Shows What an Amazing Guitarist Glen Campbell Really Was

A true delight from Campbell's '80s discography, "Cowboy Hall of Fame," teamed him up once again with Webb. The song and Webb compositions "Shattered" and "Do What You Gotta Do" appear on the 1985 album It's Just a Matter of Time.

"Cowboy Hall of Fame" looks back longingly to a time when actors like Campbell's friend The Duke and fellow country music legend Gene Autry set the bar for morality and masculinity. It's got a real throwback feel that's more western than country, meaning it would've fit a film soundtrack during the time period glorified by Campbell and Webb.

Although Campbell's version of former R&B standard and future Randy Travis hit "It's Just a Matter of Time" cracked the country charts' top 10, the entire album under-performed despite the undeniable quality of such non-singles as "Cowboy Hall of Fame" and the Marty Robbins cover "Gene Autry, My Hero." Both represent the lost period in between Campbell's run as a well-rounded and widely respected entertainer and his late life renaissance defined by the farewell tour documentary I'll Be Me and final album Adios.

"Cowboy Hall of Fame" Lyrics:

With a thin high crack of leather, a flash of silver spurs
The horseman comes, to hoof beat drums, the restless wanderer
Look quickly when he passes, look quickly if you can
You just might see the last American

He's riding o'er the far horizon without fear or shame
So tip your hat and don't forget his name
It's written in the Cowboy Hall of Fame

He might be a rustler or he might be the law
He may go down in history as quickest on the draw
Or he may be a wrangler who's quicker with a song
All you little daw-gies git along

No two bit tinhorn gambler's gonna cheat him in a game
He'd rather take his poke and stake a claim
On a rancho in the Cowboy Hall of Fame

Ride free - forever on the unfenced open range
All the way to California and the sea
But keep your powder dry and never change

He's a-ridin' down in Texas, he's on the Chisholm Trail
He'll go through old New Mexico stand fast and never fail
He's out in the Missouri Breaks, he's down in Monterey
Look quickly 'cos he just went that away

And he's going to Oklahoma trailing dust and shooting flames
A man that only God himself could tame
To hang his saddle in the Cowboy Hall of Fame
To hang his saddle in the Cowboy Hall of Fame

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