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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)
Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.
JJ Burnel of The Stranglers
JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.