On This Day: Glen Campbell Records ‘I Wanna Live’ in Nashville in 1968

by Matthew Wilson

Glen Campbell wants to live life to the fullest, smell the roses, and watch the ocean tide in this classic song. On this day in 1968, Campbell recorded “I Wanna Live.”

Campbell is joyous and lively in this classic song, embodying the song with youthful energy. Campbell’s narrator sings of how he wants to live and the various sights he wants to see. The song is a mantra for travelers, thrill-seekers, and those content with the smaller things in life.

Campbell recorded the tune at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California. Upon release, the song went on to become one of his first of five No. 1 hits in the country music genre.

Glen Campbell Discusses His Classic Songs

Glen Campbell also discussed some of his other forays into the country music genre and classic songs. One of his tunes “Gentle on My Mind” was inspired by listening to what else but a country music station. Campbell felt inspired and began humming the song.

“I was listening to a Los Angeles country music station,” Campbell told the Country Daily, “and heard a low voice singing a song called ‘Gentle on My Mind,’ and it really stuck. The song had such a freshness of spirit, I thought.”

Meanwhile, the song that made him tear up was “Witchita Lineman,” which also released in 1968. That song was also inspired by a drive. Songwriter Jimmy Webb drew from riding through the open roads of Kansas and Oklahoma.

“‘Wichita Lineman’ is the song that brought me stardom,” says Glen. “It’s my favorite ballad. I cried when he played it. The song’s loneliness grabs you. Jimmy was driving through the nothingness of Oklahoma and Kansas. He saw this lineman on a pole in the middle of nowhere. Those lyrics. I need you more than want you and I want you for all time. Boy, that lineman was really in love with somebody.”

Finally, Campbell views “Rhinestone Cowboy” as something of his signature song. That song was popularized by the Sylvester Stallone film “Rhinestone.”

“I thought it was my autobiography set to song,” Campbell said.