Arkansas Farmboy

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Songfacts®:

  • Glen Campbell's friend, the bluegrass musician Carl Jackson, wrote this song. He based the lyrics upon a story the singer told him about growing up as part of a large farming family in Arkansas during the 1930s. Campbell recorded the track for his farewell album, Adios, the last record released by the country star due to the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

    "I stood right beside him on every line, printed out the lyrics in big print," Jackson recalled. "Sometimes we had to do a line at a time because with Alzheimer's, his memory of the lyrics, as we saw in the tour he had to use teleprompters, that went away pretty quick. But his melodies did not go away for a long time after his ability to remember actual songs."
  • Campbell said in a video. "I really had an incredible childhood: 12 kids, no electricity, no running water; it was back in the sticks. I wouldn’t change a thing about growing up, if I had it to do over. If I did, I wouldn’t be here now."
  • This is not the first song that Glen Campbell has recorded about his home state. Back in 1987, he recorded a track "Arkansas" concerning his boyhood memories of the "land of opportunity."
  • Glen Campbell's daughter Ashley played the banjo on Adios. She told The Boot:

    "It meant a lot to me to be asked to play on it, especially banjo because that's how I got into music. My dad wanted me to learn how to play it. Of course, it meant a lot to me because I know Carl could've played those parts no problem, but he wanted me to do it and that meant a lot."

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