First recorded by Don Ho (1968).
Hit version by Glen Campbell (US #4/C&W #1/UK #14/CAN #2/AUS #5/NZ #3 1969).
From the wiki: “Composer Jimmy Webb (‘Up, Up and Away‘, ‘The Worst That Could Happen‘, ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix‘) was on a beach in Galveston, Texas, when he wrote the song ‘Galveston’, making up the story about a Spanish-American war soldier and the girl he left behind. ‘Galveston’ was originally recorded by Don Ho, releasing it in 1968 as the B-side of his single ‘Has Anybody Lost A Love?’ with no chart impact.
“Ho recalled he gave Campbell a copy of the single and told him, ‘I didn’t have any luck with this, maybe you will.’ Ho would later appear on Campbell’s TV variety show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in Oct. 1969 to perform the song.
“The song was perceived as an anti-Vietnam war protest song, but Campbell performed it up-tempo, conveying a more general message. The protagonist is a soldier, as shown in the original promo video with Campbell dressed up in a military outfit. Webb, however, described it as an anti-war song, and challenged Campbell’s notion that ‘Galveston’ was in any way a ‘patriotic song.'”
Don Ho, “Galveston” guest appearance on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1969):
Glen Campbell, “Galveston” (1969):