Rhinestone Cowboy

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"Rhinestone Cowboy"
Cover image from Glen Campbell's hit single recording "Rhinestone Cowboy"
Single by Glen Campbell
from the album Rhinestone Cowboy
ReleasedMay 26, 1975
RecordedFebruary 24–March 19, 1975
StudioSound Labs, Hollywood, California
Songwriter(s)Larry Weiss[2]
Producer(s)Dennis Lambert, Brian Potter
Glen Campbell singles chronology
"It's a Sin When You Love Somebody"
"Rhinestone Cowboy"
"Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)"
Music video
"Rhinestone Cowboy" on YouTube

"Rhinestone Cowboy" is a song written and recorded by Larry Weiss in 1974, then popularized the next year by American country music singer Glen Campbell. When released on May 26, 1975, as the lead single and title track from his album Rhinestone Cowboy, it enjoyed huge popularity with both country and pop audiences.

Background and writing[edit]

Weiss wrote and recorded "Rhinestone Cowboy" in 1974, and it appeared on his 20th Century Records album Black and Blue Suite. It did not, however, have much of a commercial impact as a single, although peaked at number 71 in Australia in August 1974.[3]

In late 1974, Campbell heard the song on the radio and, during a tour of Australia, decided to learn it. Soon after his return to the United States, Campbell went to Al Coury's office at Capitol Records, where he was approached about "a great new song" – "Rhinestone Cowboy".[4]

Several music writers noted that Campbell identified with the subject matter of "Rhinestone Cowboy" – survival and making it, particularly when the chips are down – very strongly. As Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic put it, the song is about a veteran artist "who's aware that he's more than paid his dues during his career ... but is still surviving, and someday, he'll shine just like a rhinestone cowboy."[5]


Credits sourced from Mix[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Released in May 1975, "Rhinestone Cowboy" immediately caught on with both country and pop audiences. The song spent that summer climbing both the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts before peaking at No. 1 by season's end – three nonconsecutive weeks on the country chart, two weeks on the Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 for 1975. It also topped the charts in Canada and several other countries.

During the week of September 13 – the week the song returned to No. 1 on the Billboard country chart, after having been nudged out for a week by "Feelins'" by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn – "Rhinestone Cowboy" topped both the country and Hot 100 charts simultaneously. This was the first time a song had accomplished the feat since November 1961, when "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean did so.

"Rhinestone Cowboy" was one of six songs released in 1975 that topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Country Singles charts. The other songs were "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" by Freddy Fender, "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" by B. J. Thomas, "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "I'm Sorry"/"Calypso," both by John Denver, and "Convoy" by C. W. McCall.

The song was also the sole Glen Campbell track in a promotional-only compilation album issued by Capitol records titled The Greatest Music Ever Sold (Capitol SPRO-8511/8512), that was distributed to record stores during the 1976 holiday season as part of Capitol's "Greatest Music Ever Sold" campaign, which promoted 15 "Best Of" albums released by the record label.

After Campbell's death in August 2017, "Rhinestone Cowboy" charted on the Country Digital Song chart at No. 12. As of August 2017, the song had been downloaded more than 368,000 times in the digital era in the United States.[7]


Re-recorded version[edit]

Campbell recorded a new version of the song on his 2013 studio album, See You There.[29]


"Rhinestone Cowboy" was certified gold for sales of 1 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America.[30]

The song became one of Glen Campbell's signature songs and won numerous awards from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, and American Music Awards. It also obtained nominations for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, as well as for Record of the Year, but did not win.

Use in films[edit]


"Rhinestone Cowboy" served as the basis for the film Rhinestone (1984), starring Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton

The song also made the soundtracks of the films High School High (1996) and Daddy Day Care (2003).

"Rhinestone Cowboy", along with several other Glen Campbell tracks, was used in War on Everyone (2016)

A cover of “Rhinestone Cowboy” is the last song played in Bruce Springsteen’s companion film of his 2019 album Western Stars.

“Rhinestone Cowboy” was featured in the opening scene of Jon Stewart's film Irresistible (2020).

Notable cover versions[edit]

"Rhinestone Cowboy" has been covered by artists including Thom Yorke and Radiohead, Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey, Soul Asylum, Belle and Sebastian, Lloyd Green, Charley Pride, Chris LeDoux, Loretta Lynn and White Town.

In 1975, Cher performed it live during her The Cher Show.[31]

The American country singer Slim Whitman covered the song in 1976 on his Red River Valley album. Also in 1976, Canadian comedian Nestor Pistor recorded a parody version, "Winestoned Plowboy", which was itself a modest hit on Canada's country music charts in 1977.[32]

Johnny Carson performed a comedic cover version to open the March 4, 1976, broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The episode was released on DVD in 2016 along with other episodes from that particular week, with Carson referencing his preparations for the performance and Doc Severinsen and the NBC Orchestra performing instrumental versions of the song each night. After his performance, Carson announced that songwriter Larry Weiss was in the audience, a fact he claimed to be unaware of when he sang it a few minutes earlier.[33]

South African singer Ray Dylan covered it on his album Goeie Ou Country - Vol. 3.[34]

Canadian country singer George Canyon covered it in 2016 for the #ForeverCountry series.[35]

In 2019, Bruce Springsteen covered the song in his documentary film and live album promoting his studio album Western Stars.

Non-English versions[edit]

Belgian singer Claire recorded the song in 1975 as "Vreemde Vogels" ("Strange Birds") and had a hit with her version in Flanders. It made it to No. 14 on the Ultratop Flanders chart, staying in the chart for 5 weeks. It also made it to No. 2 on the Vlaamse Top 10 chart.[36]

In 1975, with lyrics more in line with the English original lyrics, it was recorded as "Cowgirl dorée" by the French Canadian singer Renée Martel. The French lyrics of Martel's version were written by Robert Charlebois. The song was covered in 1976 in French as "Je m'appelle Michèle", interpreted as an autobiographical piece by French singer Michèle Torr.[citation needed]

Filipino singer comedian Fred Panopio covered it as a parody song version, "Ang Kawawang Cowboy, which was released in 1976.

In 1977 it was released as a duo by Peter Belli and Ulvene in Danish under the title "Verdens bedste kone", and in 1977 in Finnish as "Muukalainen oon kai" interpreted by Kari Tapio.[37]

Rikki & Daz version[edit]

In 2002, the British duo Rikki & Daz (made up of Daz Sampson and Ricardo Autobahn (real name John Matthews) released a revamped version of the song in a different arrangement, with additional lyrics and music. Titled "Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up Giddy Up)", the single actually features Glen Campbell singing in the refrain. A music video was also released including Campbell.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up Giddy Up)" (Radio Edit) – 3:22
  2. "Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up Giddy Up)" (Extended Version) – 5:01
  3. "Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up Giddy Up)" (Shake Before Use Remix) – 6:00
  4. "Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up Giddy Up)" (Spray Remix) – 5:27[38]


Music video of "Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up Giddy Up)"[39]


Chart performance for "Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up, Giddy Up)"
Chart (2002–2003) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[40] 81
UK Singles (OCC)[41] 12


  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (August 6, 2019). "The Number Ones: Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 26, 2023. "Rhinestone Cowboy" didn't really sound like a country song. Instead, it was a grand, symphonic pop stomper...
  2. ^ Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell - Track Info | AllMusic, retrieved 2022-11-16
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 335. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  4. ^ Gilbert, Bob and Gary Theroux, "The Top Ten: 1956-Present," Pop Record Research, Fireside Books, Simon & Schuster, New York. 1982 (ISBN 0-671-43215-X)
  5. ^ Song Review by Ed Hogan. "Rhinestone Cowboy - Glen Campbell | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  6. ^ "Classic Tracks: 'Rhinestone Cowboy'". mixonline.com. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 2023-04-10.
  7. ^ Bjorke, Matt (August 21, 2017). "Top 30 Digital Country Singles Sales Chart: August 21, 2017". Roughstock.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 4010." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 100215." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 4013." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Rhinestone Cowboy". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Glen Campbell" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ "Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  17. ^ "Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy". Singles Top 100.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  20. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 66.
  21. ^ "Glen Campbell Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  22. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 44.
  23. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Glen Campbell – Rhinestone Cowboy" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. To see peak chart position, click "TITEL VON Glen Campbell"
  24. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1975". Kent Music Report. December 29, 1975. Retrieved January 15, 2022 – via Imgur.
  25. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  26. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1975". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1975" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  28. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  29. ^ Breihan, Tom (August 6, 2019). "The Number Ones: Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy"". Stereogum.
  30. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
  31. ^ "Cher - Rhinestone Cowboy (Official Video)" – via www.youtube.com.
  32. ^ "Nestor Pistor, Winestoned Plowboy". Ontario Library Review, Volumes 62-63 (1978). p. 51
  33. ^ The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, March 4, 1976; released on DVD as part of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: The Vault Series (Time-Life, 2016)
  34. ^ "Ray Dylan, Goeie Ou Country - Vol.3, CDS, Musica a World awaits - 6005298031754". Archived from the original on 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2014-01-10.
  35. ^ "George Canyon - Rhinestone Cowboy (Forever Country Cover Series)" – via www.youtube.com.
  36. ^ "Claire - Vreemde vogels - ultratop.be". www.ultratop.be.
  37. ^ "Cover versions of Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell | SecondHandSongs". secondhandsongs.com.
  38. ^ "Rikki & Daz Featuring Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy (Giddy Up Giddy Up)". 2002 – via www.discogs.com.
  39. ^ "Rikki and Daz feat Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy" – via www.youtube.com.
  40. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 236.
  41. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 11, 2022.

External links[edit]