If You Weren’t A Rhinestone Cowboy Before 1975 You Were After
To have a number one country song you have to have, well, a great song and a great singer.
To have a song that hit’s number one on the country chart and number one on the pop chart, well, that’s pretty special.
But to have a song hit number one on the country chart and number one on the pop chart in exactly the same week, well….that’s beyond rare. That’s darn near impossible!
Jimmy Dean did it, back in November of 1961 with his signature hit ‘Big Bad John’. And that was it…until the week of September 13, 1975.
To say that ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ was a pretty big hit record would be the same as saying the Atlantic Ocean is a pretty decent size body of water.
The Larry Weiss penned ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ didn’t make Glen Campbell a star by any stretch of the imagination. Glen was already one of country and pop’s biggest stars, with great smash hit’s like ‘Gentle On My Mind’, ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘Galveston’. He already had a hit television show. In other words, he was already a star.
‘Rhinestone Cowboy’, it might be said, made Glen a mega-star.
Released in May of 1975, it spent the summer climbing both the country and pop/rock chart’s, finally hitting the top in September. It was number one on the country chart for 3 weeks (interestingly, not consecutive weeks…Conway and Loretta‘s ‘Feelins’ interrupted it for a week).
As a side note, 1975 was a great year for songs to top both the country and pop/rock chart’s, though Glen was the only one to do it on the same week. But that year, ‘Before The Next Teardrop Falls’ by Freddy Fender, ‘Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song’ by B.J. Thomas, ‘Thank God I’m A Country Boy’ and ‘I’m Sorry’ by John Denver and ‘Convoy’ by C.W. McCall all topped both charts.
As with any great song, this million selling Glen Campbell smash has been covered by a great variety of artist’s, from Loretta Lynn to Charley Pride. Slim Whitman recorded a version and believe it or not, the hard rock band Gun’s and Roses performed the song.
Just goes to prove, a great song never dies. But of course, the best version is the one by Country Music Hall of Famer Glen Campbell.