Gentle on My Mind (song)
|"Gentle on My Mind"|
|Single by Glen Campbell|
|from the album Gentle on My Mind|
|B-side||"Just Another Man"|
|Released||June 19, 1967
July 1968 (re-release)
|Recorded||May 17, 1967|
|Glen Campbell singles chronology|
"Gentle on My Mind" is a song written by John Hartford, which won two 1968 Grammy Awards. Hartford himself won the award for Best Folk Performance. The other award, Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance, Male, went to American country music singer Glen Campbell for his version of Hartford's song. It was released in June 1967 as the only single from the album of the same name. It was re-released in July 1968 to more success. Glen Campbell's version has received over 5 million plays on the radio. Campbell used "Gentle on My Mind" as the theme to his television variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour between 1969 and 1972. However, Dean Martin's version, recorded in 1968, was more successful in terms of chart-position.
Background and writing
Hartford reported that he was inspired to write the song after seeing the film Doctor Zhivago when his own memories took over, and that it took about fifteen minutes to write down.
Campbell's hit recording has an interesting history of its own. Campbell had heard Hartford's original version on the radio and decided at once that he wanted to record it. At the time, Campbell was under contract with Capitol Records as a solo artist but had little success in establishing a name for himself in the public eye. Campbell gathered some of his fellow session players from the famous "Wrecking Crew" gang (one of which being Leon Russell who was later listed as the producer of the album by the same name) to come into the Capitol studio to record a demo version that he could pitch to his producer. Between phrases and stanzas, Campbell would yell instructions to the players. He then left the rough recording for his producer to listen to. His producer fell in love, not only with the song, but with the recording itself. Without telling Campbell, he took the tape back into the studio and removed the unwanted verbiage from between the phrases. He then released the demo recording, which became a mega-hit for Campbell when it was released a second time in the wake of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix".
Glen Campbell version
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||88|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles||30|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||62|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||20|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||60|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles||44|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||39|
|U.S. Billboard Easy Listening||8|
Aretha Franklin version
American singer Aretha Franklin recorded the song in 1969 and released it as a single as the B-side to "I Can't See Myself Leaving You". Her version peaked at number 76 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 50 on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart. The song was featured on her album "Soul '69"
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||76|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles||50|
Dean Martin version
American singer Dean Martin recorded the song in 1968 and released it as a single. His version peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles chart and number 9 on the U.S. Billboard Easy Listening chart, making this version the highest-charting version of all (as opposed to Glen Campbell's most-listened-to rendition).
|United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)||2|
|U.S. Billboard Bubbling UnderHot 100||3|
|U.S. Billboard Easy Listening||9|
Patti Page version
American singer Patti Page recorded the song in 1968 and released it as a single. Her version peaked at number 66 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 7 on the U.S. Billboard Easy Listening chart.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||66|
|U.S. Billboard Easy Listening||7|
Altogether it has been recorded by over 300 different artists, and Campbell's version remains the best known in the United States.
The actor/singer Leonard Nimoy covered the song for his second album Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy. As per the commentaries on the very back album of the very second album, "the kind of song that Nimoy personally loves to sing."
Roger Miller also recorded the song for his 1968 Smash/Mercury Records release A Tender Look at Love.
Claude François translated the lyrics into French and recorded it as Si Douce A Mon Souvenir
In 1984, Brazilian singer-songwriter Roberto Carlos translated the lyrics into Portuguese (with Erasmo Carlos) and recorded it as Caminhoneiro ("Trucker" in Portuguese), played over 3.000 times on the Brazilian airwaves in just one day.
Johnny Cash covered the song in his last years, released posthumously his Unearthed Recordings.
Benny Hill also covered the song in one of his skits. It's titled 'The Dustbins Of Your Mind'.
Seasick Steve covered this song live, amongst other places he performed it at Carfest, UK, and during his tour in Europe in 2013
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 40 - Ballad in Plain D: Bob Dylan.  : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2011-04-29.
- Jarvey, Paul. - Hartford Has a Prolific Hand". - Telegram & Gazette. - July 15, 1992.
- Gentle on My Mind. - JohnHartford.com.
- Gentle on My Mind Lyrics
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics