In a career spanning nearly fifty years, there’s little musical ground that Glen Campbell hasn’t covered. He’s explored bluegrass, country and pop, played on many of the most famous records of all time as a session guitarist and “Wrecking Crew” member, and even served a brief stint as a Beach Boy. A steady stream of reissues has reminded listeners of Campbell’s mightiest accomplishments, and despite the admission of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, the singer recently recorded an acclaimed new album and continues touring as of this writing.
Campbell’s career hasn’t been without its ups and downs, including a 2004 DUI conviction. But for the past two decades, the Arkansas-born singer, raised Baptist, has credited Christianity with keeping him on the right path. In his 1994 autobiography Rhinestone Cowboy, Campbell wrote, “I have a ministry in my music, much of which is focused on God and all of which is performed for God…Parts of my show include the secular songs I’ve sung for 25 years, and I’m singing them better today than ever before.” He continued, “I once performed with a band, but today it’s the band and the Holy Spirit. I can feel it when I’m onstage, I can hear it in recorded playbacks, and I can sense it in audience responses.” In 2008, Campbell revealed to Reuters that he and his wife Kim are adherents of Messianic Judaism, a religious movement described by writer Dean Goodman as one “whose members regard themselves as committed Jews but are rejected by mainstream Jewish denominations as following an essentially evangelical Christian theology.”
It’s clear that Campbell’s spirituality has long been a guiding force for him, and he’s expressed that musically in a series of successful Contemporary Christian recordings. New Haven Records has recently reissued its 1996 single-disc compilation of Campbell’s Christian work, Jesus and Me: The Collection, in a new edition, expanded by two bonus tracks. The original compilation brought together ten tracks from previous records together with two new songs.
New Haven has also announced that Jesus and Me will be joined by a reissue of Campbell’s 1998 Christmas-themed Home for the Holidays. Hit the jump for more details on both titles, including order links and the complete track listing with discographical information!
The expanded Jesus and Me features the autobiographical title song written for Campbell by Phil Driscoll and Lari Gross (“From Galveston to Hollywood, I thought I had done it all/Then I met you/Now I’m singin’ a new song/Making music for Jesus my king/He is my hero/He’s become my everything…”) and includes songs from four of Campbell’s Christian albums recorded between 1985 and 1992. Acclaimed arranger Bergen White (well known for his work with Elvis Presley and a minor masterpiece of a solo LP, For Women Only) contributed to a number of the tracks, including the title song, and Anne Murray duets on “Show Me Your Way.” The material largely follows the blueprint of Campbell’s pop work, with the singer’s distinctive, strong vocals joined by polished production. It’s too bad that the compilers left off three of the rather unknown Jimmy Webb songs recorded by Campbell on his New Haven-released Christian albums, “Where Am I Going?” and “The Four Horsemen” from 1991’s Show Me Your Way, and “Before There Could Be Me” from 1985’s No More Night. Both of the newly-included bonus tracks are derived from 1992’s Wings of Victory.
Jesus and Me is joined by Campbell’s 1993 Christmas-themed collection, Home for the Holidays. Though recorded for the Contemporary Christian market, Campbell tackles songs both religious (“Away in a Manger,” “O Holy Night”) and secular (“The Christmas Song,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) with equal conviction. Campbell co-produced the original album with Ken Harding and the aforementioned Bergen White, who arranged each track in the slick style that’s so redolent of the era. Vince Gill joins Campbell on a medley of “Away in a Manger,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “The First Noel.” Though New Haven’s new reissue bears a 2011 copyright, there is no new remastering information nor any additional musical content. Amazon.com is not currently showing a link for New Haven’s reissue, although it has indeed been released and can be found in stores. The link below is for the 1998 version, which bears similar (but not identical) cover artwork to the new edition. The new art frames the 1998 cover (seen at left), and Campbell’s name is now in a capital-letter typeface to match the new Jesus and Me. (The 1998 and 2011 issues have different artwork than the 1993 original. Still following me?)
For those wishing to explore the Christian side of the rhinestone cowboy, Jesus and Me and Home for the Holidays are both available now from New Haven Records.
Glen Campbell, Jesus and Me: The Collection – Deluxe Edition (New Haven 2037, 1996 – reissued New Haven 8095-2, 2011)
- “Come Harvest Time” (Lowell Alexander) – 3:58
- “Sure As The Sun” (Wayne Berry) – 3:59
- “Call It Even” (Kim Patton, Becky Thurman, Geoff Thurman)- 3:40
- “Jesus and Me” (Phil Driscoll) – 2:56
- “Amazing Grace” (John Newton) 4:15
- “Show Me Your Way” (Craig Fall) – 3:18
- “No More Night” (Walt Harrah) – 4:01
- “Turn Up The Radio”(Geoff Thurman) – 3:55
- “Something To Die For” (Dave Clark, Michael Puryear, Geoff Thurman) – 4:03
- “The Greatest Gift Of All” (T. J. Kuenster) – 4:41
- “The Boy In Me” (Kevin Stokes, Geoff Thurman) – 4:37
- “The Savior I Sing of Today” (Jerry Crutchfield) – 2:57
- “On the Wings of Victory” (Bob Corbin)
- “I Will Arise” (Traditional)
Tracks 1, 3, 5, 9 and 11 from The Boy in Me (New Haven 87537, 1994)
Tracks 2 and 8 from Jesus and Me: The Collection (New Haven 2037, 1996)
Tracks 4, 6, 10 and 12 from Show Me Your Way (New Haven 9250, 1991)
Track 7 from No More Night (Word Records 47792, 1985)
Tracks 13-14 from Wings of Victory (New Haven 9253, 1992)
Glen Campbell, Home for the Holidays (New Haven, 2003 – reissued New Haven 2023-2, 2011)
- The Christmas Song
- Away in a Manger/O Little Town of Bethlehem/The First Noel (with Vince Gill)
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
- The Little Drummer Boy
- What Child Is This?
- I’ll Be Home for Christmas
- O Come O Come Emmanuel/We Three Kings/Hark the Herald Angels Sing
- Silent Night
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- O Holy Night