Glen Campbell, also known as the Rhinestone Cowboy, has produced some of country music’s greatest songs. A few of his notable hit songs are “Southern Nights,” “Gentle On My Mind,” and “Galveston.” Some of the songs were written by Campbell, but “Southern Nights” is not one of them. It was originally recorded by American singer Allen Toussaint on his 1975 album.
“Southern Nights,” A Classic Hit
It may not have been a huge hit when it was first released, but Glen Campbell made sure to put a stamp on his version. He recorded the song two years after it was released back in 1975.
Campbell shares that he chose to record the song because it reminded him of where he grew up. The song “Southern Nights” has this light feeling about the countryside, and this is what it reminded the country singer. He said:
“My dad told me when I was a kid, ‘You’re having the best time of your life, and you don’t even know it.’ Sure enough, he was right. Now I really feel the need to go back home, float down the Missouri River, and fish for bass and crappies. It’s real peaceful, and remote from things like telephones. My head is still there.”
The Origin of the Song
Allen Toussaint was the original artist who recorded this classic hit and he also wrote it himself as well. He dedicated this song to his ancestors whom he always visits in Louisiana. This is said to be one of his favorite songs that he had written because of the story behind it. He shared:
“I really felt highly, highly inspired and very spiritual doing that song. It’s the only one I felt that much about. Some others have been inspired highly, but not as high as that one.”
Listen to Glen Campbell’s version of “Southern Nights” here: