“Gentle On My Mind” is a comfort song for me… there is never not a good time to play it in my books.
Despite what many think, Glen Campbell is not the song’s original composer. John Hartford wrote this song (same guy who wrote Turnpike’s “Long Hot Summer Day), and it was released on his second studio album, Earthwords & Music, in 1967.
The song caught Campbell’s attention, and he recorded it a year later, in 1968.
Campbell’s version of the song charted in the top thirty of Billboard’s Hot Country Singles. In 1968 between the two versions being released, “Gentle On My Mind” won four Grammy awards.
Over the years, there have been many incredible covers from artists like Elvis, The Band Perry, Aretha Franklin, and Frank Sinatra.
Elvis Presley’s version:
Today, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of Waylon Jennings covering the song. I was unaware of Jennings ever covering it, so naturally, I had to check it out and do some research.
A young Jennings covered the song for a TV special in 1968. Let me tell you… I think this is my new favorite cover of “Gentle On My Mind.”
Hearing Jennings in a softer tone lets his vocal talent shine. It is a complete 180 from the rock-a-billy sound we all know and love, but it works. He is channeling his inner Glen Campbell perfectly.
Jennings’ later recorded the song and released it on his album Hangin’ On, but this live version showcases the talent the country music legend has.