What happened when Glen Campbell played football with Elvis Presley

Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell: Sings For The King

Glen Campbell: Sings For The King

1. We Call On Him (A Duet With Elvis Presley)
2. Easy Come, Easy Go
3. Any Old Time
4. Anyone Can Play
5. I Got Love
6. I'll Never Know
7. All I Needed Was The Rain
8. How Can You Lose What You Never Had
9. Spinout
10. Magic Fire
11. I'll Be Back
12. Love On The Rocks
13. Stay Away, Joe
14. Cross My Heart And Hope To Die
15. Clambake
16. There Is So Much World To See
17. Do The Clam
18. Restless

Between 1964 to 1968, when he wasn't busy recording sessions with famed LA group The Wrecking Crew or recording solo albums, Glen Campbell had a sideline: recording songs for Elvis Presley.

Campbell was originally hired by songwriter Ben Weisman, a man whose songs Presley recorded more frequently than any other. Impressed by Campbell's perfect pitch and ability to mimic Presley's  style, he was asked to record songs that would then be presented to Elvis for his consideration. 

Now 18 of these songs – discovered by Executive Producer Stephen Auerbach on long-forgotten reel-to-reel tapes in a storage space – have been released for the first time. 

In the video below, songwriter and producer Jerry Fuller, who played alongside Campbell in a late version of The Champs (famed for their 1958 hit Tequila) talks about introducing Campbell to the music scene in Los Angeles, and reveals what happened when they met Elvis and played football with him and Ricky Nelson.

"It was supposed to be flag football," say Fuller. "But it got kinda rough. People ended up with black eyes."

Glen Campbell Sings For The King is out now.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.