We all knew that it was coming. Sadly, there is no way that we could fix the ending. This awful disease that took Glen Campbell from us has effected my family and some friends too on a closer to home basis. It does not discriminate and there is no cure…..although they are working on one.
Glen Campbell had a big life. He did more than most, on and off the record. Sadly at the end of that life, he could not remember all of the wonderful things that he had done and he forgot how to sing and play. We won’t forget how he sang or how he played.
The outpouring of grief on social media, on radio and television broadcasts and in print prove that he was a well loved man, both musically and as a human being. He had his faults. He had his battles. He was married four times and had eight children.
He was a Wichita Lineman, A Rhinestone Cowboy, A Beach Boy (he played guitar on what many consider to be the greatest album of all time, the groundbreaking Pet Sounds), A Country Boy, he went to Phoenix, Galveston and many other places in his songs. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer in True Grit.
He provided the opening riff to The Last Train to Clarksville for the Monkees and played on other recordings by Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Frank Sinatra, Phil Spector and that Elvis Presley bloke to name a few.
His collaborations with Jimmy Webb are probably his most famous. Rhinestone Cowboy was his biggest chart success, though.
Many musicians are concentrating on his guitar playing genius, rather than his voice and his phrasing (which were exceptional). He was an in demand session musician and his solo career was full with a variety of tunes. I was listening to an interview this morning that Campbell did on an Australian visit. He said that he hated labels. He just called what he did “music”. He didn’t like to be described as a particular type.
I grew up watching his specials on television. He was one of the first country musicians to do that on a regular basis.
The only song that I can play in full on the piano (with one hand) is Try A Little Kindness. Its words spoke to me before the music and I wish that the world would listen to and practice the sentiment of the song.
The world has lost a fine musician, a great singer and a music legend. However, his haunting music and golden voice will live on. Thank you Glen.
N.B. I reviewed Glen’s last album recently on this blog. Have a read if you like.