In this song, Campbell sings about a woman who was a beauty in her youth, when lots of men vied for her attention. Now she is older, and staring at the wrinkles on her face, she thinks about those days and wonders how her life could have turned out differently. When we get to the chorus, we learn that the singer is her husband - the man for whom she "gave up the good time." She is but an everyday housewife, wearing a housedress and living a mundane life. The days when she turned heads are long behind her.
Many American woman could relate to the song, as the image of the happy housewife portrayed on TV shows and in magazines didn't always mesh with reality.
This was written by Chris Gantry, one of the first Nashville songwriters in what would later be known as the "Outlaw Country" genre (Gantry gets a mention in the intro to the Kris Kristofferson song "The Pilgrim: Chapter 33," when Kristofferson says, "Started writing this song about Chris Gantry...").
"Dreams of the Everyday Housewife" was the only Hot 100 hit Gantry wrote; like many of his songs, it deals with the emotional turmoil that many people face when they question their choices in life.
Three different artists released this song in 1968: Campbell, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, and Wayne Newton. In August that year, the Campbell and Newton versions battled on the Hot 100, with Newton's peaking at #60 and Campbell's reaching #32.
Campbell's rendition also went to #3 on the Country chart; it was released as the follow-up to his first country #1 hit: "I Wanna Live" (written by John D. Loudermilk).
Al DeLory produced this track. Like Campbell, DeLory was part of the elite group of session musicians that played on many of the hit songs recorded in Los Angeles. When Campbell established his solo career, DeLory became his go-to producer.