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ARTICLE
Place yourself, for a moment, in a recording studio deep inside the confines of Capitol Records, Los Angeles, 1967. Session musicians are spread around the room, busy running through the chord charts for a track by a 22-year-old songsmith called Jimmy Webb.

Nobody in the studio knows it, but the song will go on to be known as one of the greatest ever written and recorded. One of the most played songs of the 20th century. And considered by some to contain the most romantic lyric in popular music.

With California-blonde hair and cat-eye glasses, bassist Carol Kaye is the only woman present at the session. The song’s beginning isn’t strong enough, she tells producer Al De Lory, it needs something more, an opening lick perhaps. Using her impressive ear for a hook, she improvises a six-note bass intro to lead into the first chord.
And that’s how Glen Campbell’s ‘Wichita Lineman’ starts.

The first existential country song, it offers the listener a glimpse into the mind of a lonely lineman fixing the lines in the American Midwest – “an ordinary man thinking extraordinary thoughts,” as Billy Joel once put it. Containing an immortal lyric (“I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time”) ‘Wichita Lineman’ was a huge crossover hit for Campbell, who had already enjoyed huge success with another Jimmy Webb song, ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’.

Like Carol Kaye and many of the other


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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 124, Pages 30-34.
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