Glen Campbell made America GREAT with songs like “Southern Nights”, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, died from Alzheimer’s disease.
Glen Campbell, the beloved Rhinestone Cowboy, rode off into the sunset, for the final time.
The extra-ordinary artist was born as the “12th child and seventh son of a dirt poor sharecropper born in the depths of the depression on April 22, 1936”. He wasn’t treated and cultivated as a child-prodigy, mind you. He wasn’t given an education to help him get started on the right foot. But his father bought him a toy guitar when Glen was only 4 years old…. It seems like that one little toy guitar determined the course of Glen Campbell’s life.
Nothing was given to Campbell; nothing fell into his lap. One of the largest obstacles he had to overcome was his inability to write or read music… Still, his virtuosity on the guitar earned him the opportunities he deserved. Before embarking on a solo career, Glen Campbell as a guitarist was in high demand by such stars as Elvis, Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys.
Having established himself within the music industry first, prepared Glen Campbell for a solo career and stardom is what he achieved in both country and pop music. Among his most popular songs are: “Southern Nights”, “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston”. His hits marked milestones in our lives and are as much a part of American history as his rags to riches life story.
Even Campbell’s well-publicized battle with alcohol and cocaine didn’t slow down his success. He worked with the best in the music industry. He was chosen by John Wayne as his co-star in “True Grit”. He had a career as a successful TV host hosting music greats ranging from Johnny Cash to The Beatles on his “The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour”. Yes, he published an autobiography appropriately titled “Rhinestone Cowboy”, too.
For a long time, it seemed that nothing can stand in the way of the Rhinestone Cowboy. Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis caught him, his family, friends and fans by surprise. And yet, in a typical Campbell-style, Glen didn’t run and hide.
He faced the cruelty of the disease by launching “The Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour”. All 151 shows were sold-out. His children assumed key positions in his band and supported the final tour. His final release, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”, earned Glen Campbell yet another Grammy for the Best Country Song and his second Oscar nomination.
“By the time Campbell won his sixth Grammy Award in 2014 for his final recording, “I’m Not Going to Miss You,” he had won most every award and achieved every milestone available to musicians. One of the best-selling solo male artists in U.S. chart history, Campbell released more than 70 albums, selling 50 million copies with more than 80 songs charting. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame. He won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, twice won the Academy of Country Music’s Album of the Year award and was named Male Vocalist of the Year by both. In 2012, he was bestowed the Grammy’s most prestigious honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award.” (Quote from Glen Campbell’s Website.)
Glen Campbell, the hardy American, talented artist and a family man lost his hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s disease. His legacy enriched us all. He made America GREAT!