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Gentle On My Mind


Glen Campbell

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song, written by John Hartford, won four 1968 Grammy awards, including one for Hartford for Best Folk Performance, and one for Glen Campbell for Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance, Male. Hartford's inspiration for this song was the movie Doctor Zhivago. After watching the movie, he sat down and wrote the lyrics in about 15 minutes.
Doctor Zhivago is a poignant love story which takes place during the Bolshevik Revolution. It stars Omar Sharif as Doctor Yuri Zhivago, a married doctor, who falls in love with Julie Christie's Lara Antipova, a political activist. The film won several Academy Awards in 1965.
Glen Campbell's version of this song was the first major hit for John Hartford, who - up to that point - had enjoyed only moderate success as a singer and songwriter. Campbell used this song as the theme to his TV variety show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in the '60s. More recently the Lucinda Williams recording appeared over the closing credits in the Will Ferrell movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Having been recorded by musical giants including Dean Martin (whose version reached #2 in the UK in 1969) and Aretha Franklin, this song is one of the most-recorded country songs in history. (thanks, angela - San Antonio, TX)
Glen Campbell
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Comments (16):

On July 2nd 1967, "Gentle On My Mind" by Glen Campbell entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 at position #100; eventually it peaked at #62 and spent 7 weeks on the Top 100...
And one year later on September 8th, 1968 it re-entered the Top 100 at position #89, and remained on the chart for 9 weeks, peaking at #39...
Also in 1968 Patti Page released her own covered version of the song, her version reached #66 on the Top 100...
R.I.P. Ms. Page, born Clara Ann Fowler, (1927 - 2013) and may God bless and watch over Mr. Campbell.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
On May 4th 1969, Aretha Franklin's covered version of "Gentle On My Mind" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #77; it stayed on the Top 100 for three weeks, peaking at #76 (for 2 weeks) and then dropped of the chart...
The record's A-side, "I Can't See Myself Leaving You", reached #28 on the Top 100 and #3 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
Ms. Franklin celebrated her 72nd birthday ten days ago on March 25th, 2014.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
One of the greatest. Hard to believe it took Hartford 15 minutes to write the lyrics. Love his recorded version better than Campbell's.
- brady, Niagara Falls, NY
i think it is brilliant ..The perfect marriage of lyrics ,melody and interpretation
- Deanna , Las Vegas , NV
Glen Campbell recorded an album with Bobbie Gentry with "Gentle On My Mind" on it with added female lyrics for Bobbie. This album came out in either '68 or '69 following the success of Bobbie's "Ode To Billie Joe" and was recorded on Capitol Records,both of the singer's label.
"That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch."
Great lyrics; 1st time it heard them they stayed inside my head for the longest time!!!!
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
I've got Leonard Nimoy's recording of this. Not bad at all (can't say as much for the instrumentals).
- Ekristheh, Halath, United States
I, too, remember this song as the opening to the "Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" back in the 70s. We also had shows like "Laugh In", the "Smothers Brothers Show", the "Sonny and Cher Show", the "Ed Sullivan Show", etc that showcased musical groups. I first saw Kenny Rogers when he was with The First Edition on the Smothers Brothers Show when they had the hit record"Just Dropped In (To See What condition My Condition Was In)" and the video showed them walking through a natural history museum with dinosaurs while they sang the song! It had to be one of the first music videos on television! I truly miss the old variety shows that showcased musical groups.
- Stormy, Kokomo, IN
A good Glen Campbell song from the 1960's. Waylon Jennings did a very good cover of this song.
- wayne, Salem, VA
Terrific vagabond imagery.
- MrCleaveland, Cleveland,
Elvis presley also recorded this song during his classic 1969 sessions that produced some of his finest work
- Matthew, bromley, United Kingdom
My all time favorite song
I could listen to it over and over again. I am haunted by the arrangement.
- Tony, Cincinnati, OH
Album of this title was No 6 on Top Albums of Oct 1968, source Billboard 20 years ago list Oct 8, 1988
- Donna, College Station, TX
John Harford wrote this amazing song,the 't' was added to his name by Chet Atkins when he signed Harford to a contract at RCA.

Harford was a top notch banjo player and also a riverboat pilot.This song has been recorded hundreds of times by various people.
- Mark, byrdstown, TN
As a 16year old, I grew to hate this 21 y.o. sister played it over and over and over.
Subsequently, as an English major and Newspaper Reporter, I became most appreciative of Hartford's imagery... to the point of hating him!
Perhaps the style is sadly passe', but the lyrics(imagery)are stunning!
John, Euclid, Ohio
- john, mentor, OH
A lovely melody married wo some briliant lyrics--this song is the complete package!
- Guy, Woodinville, WA
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