ne of the giants of country music has died. GLEN CAMPBELL passed away yesterday at the age of 81 after a six year battle with Alzheimer’s.
His family released this statement: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell.”
Although he’ll always be known as a country artist, that’s really selling him short. The guy could do everything. He started as a guitarist who joined the wrecking crew in 1961. They were a group of L.A. session musicians that worked nonstop.
In 1963 alone Glen played on 586 songs. The list of artists he played with through the years included Frank Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Beach Boys.
He even toured with the Beach Boys in 1964 when Brian Wilson went on hiatus. Check out what Brian said about him, quote, “Glen’s main forte is guitar, but he’s even a better singer than all the rest. He could sing higher than I could.”
Singing is what made him famous. His first hit was “Gentle On My Mind” in 1967. And then he started reeling them off: “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston”, “Southern Nights”, and “Rhinestone Cowboy”.
He became a TV star in 1969 when he hosted “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”. He did a little acting too, co-starring with John Wayne in the original “True Grit”, and he played himself in Clint Eastwood’s “Any Which Way You Can”.
Glen sold over 45 million records, received 11 Grammys, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Even his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011 didn’t stop him. He decided to bring light to the disease by doing interviews, making appearances, and launching his Goodbye Tour. His final studio album, “Adios”, was released in June.
(You can read more about Glen’s life and career at Rolling Stone, CNN, and the Tennessean.)