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Glen Campbell performs in Hagerstown

May 21, 2001

Glen Campbell performs in Hagerstown



By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

In the more than 30 years that Glen Campbell has been touring he's never played in Hagerstown.

Until now.

The country music legend entertained about 800 fans at two shows at the Maryland Theatre Friday.

"I've been a fan forever. It takes me back," said Florence Murdock, 63, of Hagerstown.

Murdock came to the show with her husband, Bob Murdock, 68, who was largely responsible for his wife's extensive collection of Glen Campbell records.

"Back in that era it was an easy birthday present," he said. "We're happy he came to Hagerstown."

Fans said they like Campbell's tunes, which are a blend of country, pop and gospel, as well as his easygoing personality.

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Campbell, 65, opened the afternoon show with his popular ballad "Wichita Lineman," which ends with the fitting line, "I'm still on the line and I'm doing fine."

He immediately followed with other fan favorites "Gentle on My Mind," and "Where's the Playground Susie?"

He dedicated "Gentle on My Mind" to songwriter John Hartford, who is ill.

"If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be up here on this bandstand tonight. I'm happy to be on any stage," Campbell said.

During "Don't Pull Your Love," Campbell held the last note for what seemed like forever and then told the audience that he had to quit singing that song for awhile because he couldn't hold that note after years of drinking "the hard stuff" and smoking cigarettes.

Other well-known songs he sang included "True Grit," "Galveston" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."

Campbell often bantered with the audience. At one point he stopped the show to have his electric guitar adjusted. He entertained by telling a few jokes about growing up as one of 12 children on a poor an Arkansas farm.

His family was so poor they couldn't afford laxatives. They just sat on the pot and told ghost stories, he joked.

His sister got married just to get the rice, he said.

Later in the show, Campbell was joined by his daughter, Debby Campbell, the oldest of his eight children.

They sang a medley of duets that started with "United We Stand."

"I love everything he does," said Vivian Strader of Newark, Del., who came to the show with her husband, Frank Strader, and daughter, Tricia Strader.

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