Coun­try mu­sic leg­end Glen Camp­bell dies

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — Coun­try mu­sic leg­end Glen Camp­bell, the mel­low-voiced “Rhine­stone Cow­boy” who sold mil­lions of al­bums over a ca­reer that spanned decades, has died at the age of 81.

Camp­bell, who left his mark on the mu­sic, tele­vi­sion and movie worlds, died in Nashville, Ten­nessee, af­ter a long bat­tle with Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

“It is with the heav­i­est of hearts that we an­nounce the pass­ing of our beloved hus­band, fa­ther, grand­fa­ther, and leg­endary singer and gui­tarist,” his fam­ily said in a state­ment.

Camp­bell’s more than 70 al­bums sold more than 50 mil­lion copies, earn­ing him six Grammy Awards, in­clud­ing a Life­time Achieve­ment Award, and mem­ber­ship in the Coun­try Mu­sic Hall of Fame and Mu­si­cians Hall of Fame.

Com­pleted while he was al­ready suf­fer­ing from the rav­ages of Alzheimer’s, Camp­bell’s fi­nal al­bum, Adios, was re­leased in June.

Camp­bell cut the al­bum in 2012 af­ter com­plet­ing a dif­fi­cult fi­nal tour, which was doc­u­mented by the movie Glen Camp­bell: I’ll Be Me.

The film, which gen­er­ated the Grammy-win­ning song I’m Not Gonna Miss You, showed the star still in­stinc­tively flu­ent on the gui­tar yet strug­gling to re­mem­ber lyrics and set lists and, by the time of his fi­nal show in Napa, Cal­i­for­nia, barely able to lead his band.

Glen Travis Camp­bell was born on April 22, 1936, in a small town in the southern state of Arkansas, the sev­enth of 12 chil­dren of a strug­gling share­crop­per.

Ac­cord­ing to Camp­bell’s web­site, his fa­ther rec­og­nized his tal­ent at an early age and bought him a $5 gui­tar when he was four years old.

Camp­bell left home at the age of 14, per­form­ing on ra­dio and tele­vi­sion in Albuquerque, New Mex­ico, be­fore land­ing in Los An­ge­les in 1960.

There he per­formed as a ses­sion mu­si­cian with Phil Spec­tor’s leg­endary back­ing band known as The Wreck­ing Crew help­ing to pro­duce what was called the Wall of Sound.

Camp­bell per­formed on tracks for stars such as Elvis Pres­ley and Frank Si­na­tra and his smooth gui­tar licks can be heard on the Right­eous Broth­ers hit You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feel­ing and on the Beach Boys Pet Sounds al­bum.

He toured with The Beach Boys in 1964 af­ter singer Brian Wil­son tem­po­rar­ily re­tired from the band.

But his break­out suc­cess came in 1967 with the song Gen­tle on My Mind and his al­bum By the Time I Get to Phoenix was named Al­bum of the Year at the 1968 Grammy Awards.

Camp­bell hosted his own tele­vi­sion show — The Glen Camp­bell Good­time Hour — from 1969 to 1972 and took his chis­eled good looks to Hol­ly­wood.

He ap­peared in the clas­sic 1969 Western True Grit, play­ing the role of La Boeuf, a Texas Ranger who part­ners with John Wayne’s Rooster Cog­burn in search of a killer.

Camp­bell’s best-sell­ing sin­gle, Rhine­stone Cow­boy, was re­leased in 1975 and has sold more than five mil­lion copies.

Camp­bell, who was mar­ried four times and had eight chil­dren, had well-pub­li­cized strug­gles with drink and drugs.

dur­ing the Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Nashville, Ten­nessee in 2012.


Glen Camp­bell per­forms

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