This post is to shine some light on Campbell's career, as well as acknowledge artists who have done cover versions of Campbell's hits.
For myself, it's also a post honoring one of my mom's favorite singers of all-time. A singer who, unfortunately, she has something in common with, Alzheimer's.
Rather than just run through Campbell's career achievements however, as stated earlier, I'm choosing to also highlight other artist's versions of Glen's hits, as well as more recent news about Campbell's life.
Before having hits as a solo artist, Glen Campbell had been a session musician, recording with some of the biggest names in music, including, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan & Dean, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra. Campbell was also a session musician on The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds", as well as doing a stint touring with the band, playing bass guitar and providing background harmonies.
As a solo artist, Campbell racked up several hits on the country charts, as well as crossover hits on pop radio. Even those who don't know Campbell's classics like, "Gentle On My Mind", "Galveston", or "Wichita Lineman", usually have heard the iconic "Rhinestone Cowboy".
In addition to recording and touring extensively, Campbell also found time for acting, (playing opposite John Wayne in "True Grit"), and hosting his own TV show. "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" aired from 1969 to 1972, featuring guest stars, music and skits.
While Campbell's career was going smoothly, his personal life began to unravel. One of the most prominent displays of this was Campbell's tumultuous relationship with Tanya Tucker.
Eventually Campbell seemed to get things together, and while not having hits on the radio, still toured extensively over the years, sounding as great as he always had.
2011 brought news that Campbell was suffering from Alzheimer's, but would continue to tour as long as he was able. And that's exactly what he's been doing until now. Yes, there were good days and bad days; regardless though, Campbell pressed on giving his fans all he had.
Earlier this year however, Campbell was forced to quit touring; the disease that was robbing his memory was taking it's toll on the legendary singer.
Though he's stopped touring, Campbell has released one last recording, his farewell to fans, friends and family, with the song, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You". It's a bittersweet tale of how the singer won't miss anyone, not because he doesn't care, but because he's not going to remember them. The song is even more haunting in the fact that the singer never actually says he won't remember anyone; just how he won't miss them.
While I knew of Glen Campbell's battle with Alzheimer's, and that he'd recorded "I'm Not Gonna Miss You", what got me writing this post was The Band Perry. Early one morning I was listening to 98.7 The Bull's overnight show, and heard Kimberly Perry's distinctive voice singing a very familiar song, "Gentle On My Mind".
The Band Perry's single also had me remembering when 90's country singer, Wade Hayes did a cover of "Wichita Lineman".
I've always felt that Hayes wasn't given his due on this song. He did a great job of covering the tune, yet, it didn't do very well at radio.
While researching videos for this post, I ran across some information that was new to me. It seems Collin Raye, another popular country artist from the 90's, has released an entire tribute CD in honor of Glen Campbell. He's also released his first single from this CD, "Galveston".
It's sad to think that someone who's had such an illustrious career in music, like Glen Campbell, isn't going to be able to remember any of it. He won't remember how much his songs have contributed to country music, and to the lives of his fans around the world.
For me I guess, it's also sad, because I have some understanding of what's happening to Glen. Though my mom's Alzheimer's isn't as advanced as Campbell's, I can still identify with what the country music legend is going through, and it makes me sad; not just for him, but for what lies ahead for my mom as well.
So, while Glen Campbell may not remember what he's contributed to the world of music, it's nice to know that other artists who have followed in his footsteps do remember; and are helping to keep Campbell's legacy alive and in everyone's memory.