Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A Rhinestone Cowboy Leaves the Arena

His death doesn’t come as a complete shock: Singer, songwriter, and film actor/TV host Glen Campbell announced back in 2011 that he’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and Wikipedia says “symptoms of the disease had been occurring for years, becoming more and more evident as the years progressed.” Still, the man who rose from an Arkansas sharecropping family to become a star and release more than 70 albums of country and rock music had been with us so long, he seemed a permanent part of the American cultural landscape. Until today. From Rolling Stone:
Glen Campbell, the indelible voice behind 21 Top 40 hits including “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” died Tuesday. He was 81. A rep for Universal Music Group, Campbell's record label, confirmed the singer's death to Rolling Stone. During a career that spanned six decades, Campbell sold over 45 million records. In 1968, one of his biggest years, he outsold the Beatles. …

Campbell was a rare breed in the music business, with various careers as a top-level studio guitarist, chart-topping singer and hit television host. His late-career battle with Alzheimer’s—he allowed a documentary crew to film on his final tour for the 2014 award-winning
I’ll Be Me—made him a public face for the disease, a role President Bill Clinton suggested would one day be remembered even more than his music.

“He had that beautiful tenor with a crystal-clear guitar sound, playing lines that were so inventive,” Tom Petty told
Rolling Stone during a 2011 profile of Campbell. “It moved me.”
I know, this news is far off my usual crime-fiction beat (though Campbell did guest-star in a 1967 installment of The F.B.I.). But so what; it still demands attention, for Campbell was a familiar figure from my youth. His hit songs—including not only those cited above, but also “Galveston” and “Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)” were part of the soundtrack of my most difficult growing-up years. I have never been a country music fan, but partly as a result of the fact that my family rarely missed seeing an episode of his 1969-1972 CBS-TV variety series, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (some episodes of which can be watched here), I still appreciated Glen Campbell.

READ MORE:Glen Campbell, Country Music Legend, Is Dead at 81,” by Blake Farmer (National Public Radio); “Glen Campbell, Whose Hit Songs Bridged Country and Pop, Dies at 81,” by Michael Pollak
(The New York Times); “Glen Campbell Dies at 81; Country-Pop Singer Battled Alzheimer’s,” by Adam Tschorn (Los Angeles Times).


Craig said...

It's not TOO far afield from your usual blog fodder. In his brief acting career, he did play a lawman chasing a bad guy in the original movie version of "True Grit." He was LaBouef, the Texas Ranger who teamed up with John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn to go after Tom Chaney, the villain Matty wanted to capture for killing her father. He did OK in the role, too.

Ryna Safitri said...

I'm not worth it but this only my tribute to keep him gentle on my mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDti24Uras