Glen Campbell was part of our soundtrack
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.