Music

Glen Campbell Sang the Oscar-Nominated Theme From 'True Grit'

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Glen Campbell earned the first of two career Oscar nominations with the theme song from his big-screen debut, 1969's True Grit.

Don Black, the lyricist behind multiple James Bond film themes and an Andrew Lloyd Webber collaborator, co-wrote the title song with fellow songwriter and film score legend Elmer Bernstein.

Its lush, orchestral arrangement and story-driven lyrics suited Campbell, whose reputation at that point hinged on such comparable-sounding hits as the Chris Gantry-penned "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife," John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" and Jimmy Webb's "Galveston," "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."

Campbell being the right singer for the song, plus its connection to John Wayne's first role as US Marshal Rooster Cogburn and Kim Darby's performance as Mattie Ross (and appearances by Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper), helped the singer land a Top 10 country hit and a Top 40 entry on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. Variety TV show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour debuting five months before the film and single's release likely drove retail sales and radio spins, as well.

True Grit made Academy Awards history when Wayne won his first and only Oscar for his portrayal of Cogburn.

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The box office smash also earned Campbell a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer, thanks to his portrayal of young Texas Ranger La Boeuf.

As for how its theme song faired at the Oscars, it lost out to "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," a song associated with two Campbell peers: BJ Thomas and Bobbie Gentry.

Campbell got one more shot at an Oscar in his lifetime. "I'm Not Going to Miss You," an acknowledgement of the singer's struggle with Alzheimer's from the documentary Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, was nominated in 2014. It lost at the Academy Awards but won Campbell one last Grammy award (Best Country Song (2015)). Not bad for an Arkansas farm boy.

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Glen Campbell Sang the Oscar-Nominated Theme From 'True Grit'