On This Day: ‘The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour’ Premieres on TV in 1969

by Emily Morgan
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On Jan. 29, 1969, 52 years ago today, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” premiered on CBS. 

Throughout its tenure, the show produced 91 episodes and served as a platform for significant country music moments in history. 

When variety shows captured audiences worldwide, producers knew that they had to book Glen Campbell. All generations were drawn to his talent and charming personality, making it impossible not to fall in love with him. 

After the success of Wichita Lineman and Campbell’s appearance alongside John Wayne in True Grit, he received his first invitation to host his own prime time television show in 1969. 

However, Campbell would have to earn his title of a host. Before the invite, in 1968, Campbell proved he had the comedic chops when he was the replacement for “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”

“The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” made Campbell the latest in a string of country singers to host a variety show. This type of format began in the 1950s as live radio evolved into televised programming. 

The Uniqueness Behind Glen Campbell’s Variety Show

Yet Campbell created his own, nuanced path during his time as host. Considering he was a former touring member of the Beach Boys, he crossed musical boundaries no one had witnessed before. 

“Gentle on My Mind,” one of Campbell’s hit songs at the time, became the theme song of the show. He booked iconic guests of all walks of life, including the Beatles, Tim Conway, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash.

Besides musical appearances and interviews, the show also featured comedic sketches featuring Campbell’s cowboy co-star, John Wayne. 

Moreover, the show helped launch Anne Murray and Jerry Reed’s careers due to their appearances on the series. 

Despite incorporating well-known acts and celebrities, the show helped fans discover relatively unknown yet talented artists. It gave John Hartford, the writer of the theme song and the fantastic and quirky banjo player, valuable air-time during the show’s run. 

The beloved show ran until 1972 when CBS pulled the plug; yet, Campbell’s moment in the spotlight was far from finished. 

After the show, he starred in a spin-off of the original variety series: “The Glen Campbell Music Show.” The music variety show ran for one season from 1982 to 1983. 

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