Magazine article Guitar Player

"Southern Nights" BY GLEN CAMPBELL

Magazine article Guitar Player

"Southern Nights" BY GLEN CAMPBELL

Article excerpt

NEED A REAL HEAD TURNER IN YOUR vocabulary of country licks? Try this one on for size. In 1977, with inspiration from Jerry Reed, the late Glen Campbell's cover of Allan Toussaint's "Southern Nights" received more airplay than any other song that year. Reed's contribution was the crazy cool lick--essentially two single-note lines simultaneously converging from opposite directions--that Campbell tagged onto the song's opening E major pentatonic hook.

Ex. 1 shows both parts in action. The upper part of bar 2 is simply a descending one-octave E blues scale starting on G, the [??]3, with an added F#, the 2/9--G, F# E, D, B, B[??], A, G, or [??]3, 2, root, [??]7, 5, [??]5, 4, [??]3. Meanwhile, the bottom part takes a different tact. Here, we begin on a low F# (which shouldn't work, but somehow does with the top line's G-that's a flat-nine interval!), and then ascend a whole step to G#, the 3 of E.

From there we ascend chromatically to B (via A and A#) before jumping to D and a pair of D#'s, both played on the fourth string. …

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