Hear the William Tell overture from a country-and-western star

Hear the William Tell overture from a country-and-western star


norman lebrecht

January 08, 2021

Played exactly as written.



  • E says:

    Joy and hilarity at the end of the day. Thanks, NL!

  • JussiB says:

    Now let’s hear him play Flight of the Bumblebee.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Glen Campbell was a top-notch guitarist. He was a highly in-demand recording session player for years before he established his solo career.
    This arrangement is corny to the max, but Glen does rip out a few good licks.
    The beginning sounded a bit like the theme from “Bonanza”!

  • Sean says:


  • Anonymous Bosch says:

    I always love the section where Rossini demands that the musicians place their instruments on their heads, “exactly as written.”

  • Larry says:

    A great guitarist. He was active as a studio musician before he had his career as a singer.

  • Stuart says:

    More exactly, hear part of the Overture to Guillaume Tell from a country-and-western star in a transcription that is far from “played exactly as written”. It was fun, regardless.

    • Anon says:

      Quite. And some of the fiddle playing is a bit ropey. I was looking forward to the cello melody and the flute/cor duet. The extra counter-melody and the drum kit don’t quite compensate. But a bit of fun.

      • BruceB says:

        I can’t imagine that you are serious. Regular people don’t even know that there’s more to the William Tell overture than the final section.

        P.S. The orchestra, whoever they are, probably got the music the day before and had one rehearsal.

  • Spike Jones did this precise parody in the 1950s, and many other brilliant music parodies. Today only the older folk
    remember all of those delightful take offs….I have a CD of them. If you prefer more up to date parodies, check out Weird Al Yankovic….brilliant musician and parodist. His stuff is endlessly entertaining.

    • BruceB says:

      I remember the Leonore Overture #3 where a pistol shot starts the violins scrambling at the end 🙂

    • Greg Bottini says:

      Thanks for mentioning Spike, Lorna!
      Spike did his parodies with various permutations of His City Slickers from the early 1940s almost up to his death in 1965, on disc, radio, movies, and television, and of course live stage performances.
      I think “Dance of the Hours” is my favorite, and of course “The William Tell Overture” (and here comes Beeeeeeetle-Bomb).

  • Petros LInardos says:

    That’s fun! It passes my “made me smile” test with flying colors.
    Comparisons with Abbado or Norrington are irrelevant…