Flashback: Glen Campbell Joins Keith Urban For 2009 Performance Of ‘Wichita Lineman’

Keith Urban/YouTube

In 2009, Keith Urban surprised his Las Vegas fans by inviting country legend Glen Campbell on stage.

Over the course of his career, Urban has made it clear that he wanted to be a country artist because of Glen Campbell. So the collaboration between the two artists was a full circle moment, of sorts.

As Urban began playing the opening licks for Campbell’s iconic tune “Wichita Lineman,” Campbell joined in as his still-crystal clear vocals belted out the familiar lyrics.

The song was penned by Jimmy Webb in 1968 per Glen Campbell’s request. At the time, Campbell had already taken the Webb-penned tune “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” to the top of the charts and knew he wanted to record another song by the writer. In fact, Campbell and then-producer Al DeLory couldn’t wait to get their hands on another Webb song.

YouTube video

“They kept calling me back every couple of hours and asking if it was finished. I really didn’t have the last verse written. And finally I said, ‘Well, I’m gonna send it over, and if you want me to finish it, I’ll finish it,'” Webb recalled in a 2012 interview.

“A few weeks later I was talking to Glen, and I said, ‘Well I guess Wichita Lineman didn’t make the cut.’ And Glen said, ‘Oh yeah! We recorded that!’ And I said, ‘Listen, I didn’t really think that song was finished …’ And he said, ‘Well it is now!’”

The song would go on to become one of Campbell’s most popular songs, in part because of the unique guitar riff that Campbell-ized the tune.

During his surprise appearance with Keith Urban, Campbell proved that his guitar skills were better than ever as he skillfully picked the melody as he had done thousands of times before.

Less than two years later, Campbell would be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The disease slowly took away his ability to play and sing, but one thing is clear…Nothing can ever take away the impact that Glen Campbell has had on country music. His legacy will continue to live on through artists such as Keith Urban who once took Campbell’s advice to simply “practice.”

Watch Keith Urban and Glen Campbell perform “Wichita Lineman” live in Las Vegas in 2009 below.

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