GALVESTON — It’s hard to be a country music fan and not have heard of Glen Campbell. Even more rare is to live in Galveston and not know the song he recorded in 1969.

If the city had an official song, Campbell’s “Galveston” would be it.

It only makes sense for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau to use it for its new tourism marketing campaign.

The bureau has purchased the rights to the song for $25,000 and used Vision Production Group of Houston for the remake, spokeswoman Leah Cast said.

The bureau plans to use it in all advertising media, including television, radio, Internet and social media promotions. The video has been posted on the front page of its website at

“The ‘Galveston’ song is so iconic worldwide, and to many people it is already considered an anthem for the island,” bureau Marketing Director Melody Smith said. “With Galveston re-emerging as a top travel and cruise destination, we thought it only fitting to draw on our roots and embrace this song within our marketing efforts.”

The songwriter for “Galveston,” Jimmy Web, was on a beach here when he wrote it. He envisioned a story about a soldier going off to war and the woman he left behind.

The Vietnam War was going on when Campbell released the song, and it was considered an anti-war song at the time. The song made the Country Music Television Top Ten list of all-time greatest country music songs.

Campbell’s most recent performance in Galveston was July 8 at The Grand 1894 Opera House.

It was part of his farewell tour. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in June 2011.

As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, so when the city had to rebuild after Hurricane Ike in 2008, Galveston decided to not only rebuild but to remake itself even better than before.

Much of that development has been directed toward rebuilding downtown as well as the repair and upgrade of existing attractions such as the revamped Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens and the opening of the Historic Galveston Island Pleasure Pier in May.

More than $125 million was invested in these improvements and has resulted in a steady increase in tourism during the past three years, according to the visitor’s bureau.

(10) comments

David Purrington

Great idea but very poorly executed. That is probably the worst rendition of Glen's song I have heard. Was there no way to stike a deal with the Campbell organization to use the original? That's what people (at least those in my age group) relate to. If not, an instrumental to at leats remind people of the original would have done better. IMHO

mike diaz

@dwpurrington....did you hear the remake? And if so, where so I can have a listen. Remakes are never as good as the original. I was excited until I read "remake" I loved hearing Glen Campbell singing that song growing up always with a sense of pride! BOI

Larry Kirkendall

...a link to the song would have been nice.

Larry Kirkendall it wouldn't have, progress and new ideas are usually a good thing but this is just terrible. If the song as sung by Glen Campbell is so iconic, why change it?

Ellen Morrison

It was probably a cost issue. To re-record with an unknown is much cheaper than paying to use the original.

Me personally, I was choking up a little bit watching the video... until the cruise ship went by and I almost spewed tea all over my computer.


Kathy Templeton

I've seen the video - I think it's beautiful. It's always tough for a new artist to rerecord a song so loved. But I think he did a pretty good job.

Steve Fouga

The video isn't bad... Though the bagpipes and bobbies might confuse a viewer not familiar with the Dickens context, and surfers wading into almost dead-calm water isn't that great a selling point. The sped-up cruise ship is disconcerting.

I watched and listened twice as recorded, and the the song sort of disappeared into the background. Then I played Glen Campbell's version while watching the video, and it's a downright spectacular combination! Too bad that, for whatever reason, we couldn't have the original.

Richard Worth

They tried the same thing back in 1981 without bothering with the publishing rights. It was, to put it kindly, a disaster.

Lars Faltskog

Been away for the weekend, and right now I can't have access to the music link...I'll see it later today and give my 2 cents worth.

Judging from these comments thus far, it sounds like a promotional FAIL.

Lars Faltskog

/sigh/ It could have been better. I also think the brief swift clip of the way-too-fast-moving ship was out of place. It looked fake.

The vocals of the song are a bit warbly. Plus the transition between the last verse (beach where we used to run) going into the refrain was awkward.

Nice to show downtown, but why Moody golf course??

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