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Glen Campbell’s connection to Kentucky football and basketball

By now, you’ve heard that country music legend Glen Campbell passed away yesterday at the age of 81, but did you know he was a Kentucky fan?

Campbell, an Arkansas native, sang the national anthem before the Kentucky/Arkansas basketball game in Rupp Arena back in January 1992, but he started coming to UK Football games back in the 1970s after becoming friends with head coach Fran Curci. According to our good friend Oscar Combs, Campbell met Curci through a business associate and started attending games at Commonwealth Stadium, where he frequently roamed the sidelines and visited the locker room. Here he is sporting a Power K hat in the Commonwealth Stadium press box during the 1977 season, when Derrick Ramsey led Kentucky to a 10-1 record and No. 6 ranking:


And hanging out with Fran Curci after a big win:


Campbell remained a Kentucky fan over the years, even sporting a Kentucky shirt while traveling at LAX in 2012:

Photo: FameFlynet Pictures

Maybe for Campbell, Kentucky really did mean paradise.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

15 responses to “Glen Campbell’s connection to Kentucky football and basketball”

  1. EdC

    That is awesome. I never knew.

  2. huck

    I didn’t either, was thinking of the movie he made with John Wayne, True Grit – while trying to remember the name came across an interview with Alice Cooper yesterday.

  3. sincitycat

    Thanks Mrs. T as I did not know he was a Wildcat fan.

  4. runningunnin.454

    There was another song named “Paradise” about Kentucky by John Prine. It was about strip mining’s devastating effect and a community named Paradise in Muhlenberg County.
    He would like to go back, but Mr. Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away. That song was covered by Dwight Yoakam and John Fogerty among others.

    Campbell’s “Galveston” was written by Jimmy Webb and was a Viet Nam protest song.

    1. Souf beach Lou

      Song was “Kentucky Means Paradise”

    2. InigoMontoya

      “They pave Paradise, and put up a parking lot.”

    3. runningunnin.454

      Written by Joni Mitchell, right?

    4. Reuben Cuban

      Jimmy Webb also wrote “Wichita Lineman”; but Glen Campbell made the song. It’s one of my all time favorite songs:

  5. Sentient Third Eye

    Given that Glenn Campbell was a UK fan himself, either of those songs would be perfect to use at football games as our version of “Rocky Top”.

    1. runningunnin.454

      Wonder if the UT fans know Rocky Top was first recorded by Kentucky artists, the Osborne Brothers, Sonny and Bobby from Hyden.
      Wonder if the Arkansas fans turned on Campbell like they did Malik.

  6. John Henry

    I will miss Glen Campbell. What a talent he was.

  7. Angelo

    Wow, Tyler great work!

  8. henderblue

    Right you are John Henry. An awesome talent who left us many great memories through his songs.

  9. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

    As much as I loved “Rhinestone Cowboy” and some of his other songs, I didn’t realize what virtuoso he was on the guitar until I saw the documentary on CNN. Thanks for the memories and great music Glenn.

    I also didn’t know about him being a Kentucky fan and friend of Fran. I’m surprised he wasn’t a Hog fan (not a pun on the other thread). I love the vintage Power K trucker hat! I wish I had one. I do have a newer K hat but it’s not the same font as that old K. Get Jared to reissue that on his site and I’ll buy one!

  10. CatBlue in LR

    I was on press row for that first UK/Arkansas b-ball game in ’92 somewhere have an up-close photo I made of it.