Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

I was about 7 or 8 and I discovered the magic of the ballad. I had the pleasure of being given a small transistor radio with a single ear piece. It was the kind of thing a place like Radio Shack had for a dime a dozen. And the fact that I got to operate the radio on my own was super cool to me (and take it into context that technology was MUCH different in the early 80’s, unlike today’s tethered generation). But I digress…

I remember going to bed, but being able to keep the radio. Mom said it was OK to listen to it for a while. As I flipped the dial, I landed on a country station that was playing Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman. I remember being really relaxed and feeling the song. I had no idea at the time what the lyrics meant, but it felt sad. It felt like the singer was desperately looking for something. Of course I envisioned telephone wires, but even though I didn’t know the meaning of the song, I knew it meant more than what I was imagining. It was a feeling. In that moment a memory was implanted that I would carry for the next 35 years. And I wonder if he’s still on the line…

by Rory Andes

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