The song was released in June 1967 as the only single from the album of the same name. It was re-released in July 1968 to more success. Glen Campbell's version has received over 5 million plays on the radio. Campbell used ‘Gentle on My Mind’ as the theme to his television variety show’ The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour’. Dean Martin’s version, recorded in 1968, was a major hit in the United Kingdom; three versions of the song, Campbell's, Martin's and Patti Page’s, all reached the top ten of the ‘U.S. Easy Listening Chart’ in 1968. The song was ranked Number 16 on BMI's ‘Top 100 Songs of the Century.’
When this song was first released, I had a thousand and one things on my mind. I was eagerly saving up for the bottom drawer as I’d been engaged a few years to a young woman who was at teacher-training college in Bradford. I was also trying to move into a more professional job that I felt was right for me (from Mill Manager to Probation Officer). I’d been very fortunate to have landed a mill manager’s position on nights at a Cleckheaton textile firm one year earlier but knew this was not the kind of job that I was meant to do forever. So, I gave up a £4,000 per annum job at a time when the average annual wage was less than £2000 and returned to working in a Brighouse Mill as a semi-skilled operative for £25 per week wage.
I took my employment demotion so that I could free my evenings up to attend night school as a mature student and obtain the ‘O’ Levels and ‘A’ Levels which I’d avoided doing during earlier years.
My daily routine would involve working at the Brighouse mill until 6.00 pm, then dash off to night school classes in Cleckheaton, four evenings a week. When I came out of night school around 10:00 pm, I would then rush down to Charlie’s Taxies in Cleckheaton, where I would drive a taxi for the most modest of wages until 1:00 am or 2:00 am. All this was to start off my married life the year after (1968) in a sound financial position. Whoever you were in the 1960s, whatever your earning potential was, we all wanted a decent start to our marriage. We were all determined to have our own home to start up in and would have taken up residence in the allotment before having a son and his new bride start off their married life sharing the same house, eating and cooking in the same kitchen and sleeping in the and spare room of mum and dad’s house!
With my mind preoccupied on a thousand and one things from the dawn of one day to the early hours of the next morning, any leisure time I had was spent doing whatever was ‘easier on my mind’. For me, this involved relaxing in the sun, walking the woods and meadows, reading a good novel and playing music. These are the things that I’ve always found ‘Gentle on my mind’ and still do.
Love and peace Bill xxx