Glen Camp­bell was part of our sound­track

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

This ap­peared in the Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette:

The world lost trou­ba­dour song­ster and movie and TV fig­ure Glen Camp­bell Tues­day in Nashville at 81.

Some of the songs that made Camp­bell famous con­sti­tuted part of the sound­track of baby boomers’ lives dur­ing his per­for­mance years, and long af­ter­ward. A num­ber of them were in the cat­e­gory of mu­sic that when one heard the first, in­stru­men­tal line, one knew and an­tic­i­pated with plea­sure what was com­ing.

His song “Wi­chita Line­man” caught deftly not only the sense but also the men­tal­ity of a main­stream North Amer­i­can, what he wanted and needed, and how he ap­proached life. The son of an Arkansas share­crop­per, Camp­bell sang from his not-easy life ex­pe­ri­ence, that in­cluded poverty, al­co­hol and drug abuse and three di­vorces, as well as per­form­ing suc­cess. It also in­cluded eight liv­ing chil­dren, many grand­chil­dren and even great-great-grand­chil­dren.

Camp­bell was a con­sum­mate mu­si­cian. He played gui­tar, banjo, man­dolin, and bass and ap­par­ently had per­fect pitch, even though he couldn’t read mu­sic.

In his fi­nal years, Camp­bell suf­fered from Alzheimer’s dis­ease. But he turned that into a pub­lic ser­vice, con­tin­u­ing to per­form and demon­strat­ing full frank­ness about that aw­ful dis­ease.

In the process, he called at­ten­tion and re­search money to it.

Glen Camp­bell will re­main gen­tle on our minds.

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