The Friday 5×2: RIP Glen Campbell

You have by now heard that Country music star and guitar legend Glen Campbell died Tuesday after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease that started in 2011. I chose a few of his songs that I especially like, some of which I’ve featured here before, all of which show his virtuosity as a performer and guitarist.

  1. Mull of Kintyre The first song doesn’t feature his guitar playing, but his ability on another instrument, the Great Highland Bagpipe. Written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine, it was Wings’ biggest hit in Britain during the Christmas season of 1977.
  2. Rhinestone Cowboy Recorded and released in 1975, this caught on with both Country (#1) and Pop (#1 Hot 100, #1 Hot Contemporary Singles) and is one of his best-known songs.
  3. Wichita Lineman By Jimmy Webb, Glen’s recording topped the Country and Adult Contemporary charts and peaked at #4 on the Hot 100. Personally, I like this version better than the original single, without the strings in the background.
  4. Gentle On My Mind Written by John Hartford, this won four Grammys in 1968, two by Hartford, the other two by Glen Campbell. This performance on The Nashville Network is significant because of all the performers on the stage with him, including Roy Clark, Chet Atkins, George Lindsey, Crystal Gayle, Ray Stevens, Merle Haggard, and a whole bunch more I don’t recognize or wasn’t fast enough to catch. His guitar solo in this one is superb.
  5. I Remember You I’ve wanted to put this one in a playlist in the worst way, because Glen’s performance is just lovely, but felt it was too cruel an irony.
  6. Galveston My buddy Mark says this is one of his favorites, because it was one of the first songs he learned on the piano. It’s a great song, written by Jimmy Webb. Glen recorded it with members of The Wrecking Crew and released it in 1969.
  7. Try A Little Kindness Another one from 1969, written by Curt Sapaugh and Bobby Austin. It reached #1 on the Easy Listening chart, #2 on the Country chart, and #23 on the Hot 100 in 1969.
  8. Southern Nights Title track from his 1977 album, it reached #1 on the Hot 100, Adult Contemporart, and Country charts.
  9. I’m Not Gonna Miss You Recorded around the time he learned he had Alzheimer’s, it was the last song Glen recorded. It received the 2015 Grammy for Best Country Song.
  10. Adios Posted just a few days ago. Glen sings, but the stars of the video are his children. It’s a moving tribute to his legacy.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and eight children.

That’s The Friday 5×2 for August 11, 2017.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

13 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: RIP Glen Campbell”

  1. I remember his variety show and how we enjoyed it as a family. I remember some of the songs you mentioned, but not all of them. It’s funny to me to think that I’m suddenly interested in the man now, when perhaps I should have taken more of an interest in him when he was alive. Still, his music lives on.

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    1. Some artists don’t make an impression on you until they’re gone. Then it’s like, “Why didn’t I pay this much attention when he was alive?” For me, it was when I decided to feature him on Two for Tuesday a year or so ago, when I learned he had Alzheimer’s. I started listening to his music (which was almost ubiquitous on the pop charts when I was in grammar and high school) again, and realized he could really play, and I could have learned a lot from him, as a guitarist and a performer. But his music lives on.

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  2. I think it’s a blessing that he passed away since he got the Alzheimer’s disease that plagues so many people. I feel for his family who were the caretakers even though he had plenty of nursing care. I believe his alcoholism was part of this but no matter what, he was such an excellent musician. A very nice tribute

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  3. Glen Campbell was a major figure in my middle years. I saw him a couple of times in Houston, at the rodeo. Galveston was popular when I lived there. He will be missed. What a sad way to pass, too. Nice tribute.

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  4. I have always loved Glen. remember him from the old, old, old, Ranch Party…a country music show where he played guitar but didn’t sing much (as I recollect). Great talent. lovely voice. wild and crazy in his youth, but so were many people (Not me, of course). RIP Glen.

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  5. I heard a lot of Glen Campbell growing up. I think I still know all the words to Rhinestone Cowboy. My husband and I watched the documentary that was filmed fairly early into his battle with AD. It was so well done – truly captured the bittersweet journey of both patient and family. We were both in tears by the end, because we’d lost my wonderful mother-in-law to this disease many years ago. When Michael told me the other day that he had passed I said, “Wow! That documentary was so long ago. How awful that he and his family had to suffer so long.” But now I read that he was diagnosed in 2011. That was the same year I was unable to return to work after my fourth neurosurgery. I’m still in constant pain, still being denied disability, still trying to get through every day as it comes. Yeah, it IS a long time for a person and their family to suffer.

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