For a songwriter of the mid 70s it took a major recording star’s interest in his song to get to the top of the Billboard charts: Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell.
Written by Larry Weiss in 1974, the song appeared on his album Black and Blue Suite, but had no impact on radio or the music charts. Meanwhile Campbell was touring through Australia when he heard the song.
Returning to the US, he went to his label, Capitol Records, to ask to record the song. He identified with the song’s themes of pursuing his dream for the brass ring reward.
Recorded in February and March 1975, the single Rhinestone Cowboy was released by Capitol in May, charting from its release on both the country and pop charts throughout the summer.
In mid September 1975, Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy was the first song since 1961 to hit both number on on the Hot 100 pop and the Hot 100 Country Billboard charts. The song also hit number one on the Hot 100 Adult Contemporary charts, and hit number one in Canada and Ireland.
The single was certified gold and silver and became a popular addition to Campbell’s catalogue of music. In recent years, the song has been covered by Radiohead, Soul Asylum, Belle and Sebastian, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn and David Hasselhoff.