Glen Camp­bell said good­bye to his life, ca­reer through mu­sic

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Glen Camp­bell was a rare en­ter­tainer who got to say good­bye to his life and ca­reer in ev­ery way he knew how. Be­fore his mind evap­o­rated into Alzheimer's dis­ease, Camp­bell was able to go out on one last big tour, star in a doc­u­men­tary and record an al­bum of his fa­vorite songs, fit­tingly called "Adios." Three of his chil­dren sing on the al­bum, which was re­leased ear­lier this sum­mer. The coun­try superstar died Tues­day morn­ing in Nashville, Camp­bell's fam­ily said. He was 81.

"I owe him ev­ery­thing I am, and ev­ery­thing I ever will be," daugh­ter Ash­ley Camp­bell wrote on Twit­ter. "He will be re­mem­bered so well and with so much love." A gui­tarist since age 4, Camp­bell's mu­si­cal tal­ent, boy­ish looks and friendly charm brought him decades of suc­cess. He won five Gram­mys, sold more than 45 mil­lion records, had 12 gold al­bums and 75 chart hits, in­clud­ing No. 1 songs with "Rhine­stone Cow­boy" and "South­ern Nights." His per­for­mance of the ti­tle song from the 1969 film "True Grit," in which he played a Texas Ranger along­side Os­car win­ner John Wayne, re­ceived an Academy Award nom­i­na­tion. Camp­bell was nom­i­nated again for an Os­car in 2015 for "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," a song from the doc­u­men­tary "Glen Camp­bell... I'll Be Me."

The 2014 film about Camp­bell's farewell tour in 2011 and 2012 of­fers a poignant look at his de­cline from Alzheimer's while show­cas­ing his vir­tu­oso gui­tar chops that some­how con­tin­ued to shine as his mind un­rav­eled. His wife, Kim Camp­bell, an­nounced ear­lier this year that her hus­band could no longer play gui­tar. Camp­bell's mu­si­cal ca­reer dated back to the early years of rock 'n roll. He toured with the Champs of "Tequila" fame. He was part of the house band for the ABC TV show "Shindig!" and a mem­ber of Phil Spec­tor's "Wreck­ing Crew" stu­dio band that played on hits by the Ronettes, the Right­eous Brothers and the Crys­tals. Camp­bell also played gui­tar on Frank Si­na­tra's "Strangers In the Night," The Mon­kees' "I'm a Be­liever" and Elvis Pres­ley's "Viva Las Ve­gas."

"We'd get the rock 'n' roll guys and play all that, then we'd get Si­na­tra and Dean Martin," Camp­bell told The As­so­ci­ated Press in 2011. "That was a kick. I re­ally en­joyed that. I didn't want to go nowhere. I was mak­ing more money than I ever made just do­ing stu­dio work." One of 12 chil­dren, Camp­bell left his na­tive Arkansas and a life of farm work as a teenager in pur­suit of mu­sic. He moved to Al­bu­querque, New Mex­ico to join his un­cle's band and ap­pear on his un­cle's ra­dio show. By his early 20s, Camp­bell had formed his own group, the Western Wran­glers, and moved to Los An­ge­les. He opened for The Doors and sang and played bass with The Beach Boys as a re­place­ment for Brian Wil­son, who in the mid-'60s had re­tired from tour­ing to con­cen­trate on stu­dio work.

Mi­nor traf­fic ac­ci­dent

In 1966, Camp­bell played on The Beach Boys' clas­sic "Pet Sounds" al­bum. "I didn't go to Nashville be­cause Nashville at that time seemed one-di­men­sional to me," he told the AP. "I'm a jazzer. I just love to get the gui­tar and play the hell out of it if I can." By the late '60s, he was a per­former on his own, and an ap­pear­ance on Joey Bishop's show led to his TV break­through. Tommy Smoth­ers of the Smoth­ers Brothers saw the pro­gram and asked Camp­bell if he'd like to host a sum­mer­time se­ries, "The Sum­mer Brothers Smoth­ers Show." "The whole lid just blew off," Camp­bell told the AP. "I had never had any­thing like that hap­pen to me. I got more phone calls. It was awe­some. For the first cou­ple of days I was like how do they know me? I didn't re­al­ize the power of tele­vi­sion." His guests in­cluded coun­try acts, but also The Mon­kees, Lu­cille Ball, Cream, Neil Di­a­mond and Ella Fitzger­ald.

Like his cross­over con­tem­po­raries Johnny Cash, Roy Clark and Kenny Rogers, Camp­bell also en­joyed suc­cess on TV. He had a weekly au­di­ence of some 50 mil­lion peo­ple for the "Glen Camp­bell Good­time Hour" on CBS. He re­leased more than 70 of his own al­bums, and in the 1990s recorded a se­ries of gospel CDs. A 2011 al­bum, "Ghost On the Can­vas," in­cluded con­tri­bu­tions from Ja­cob Dy­lan, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Billy Cor­gan of Smash­ing Pump­kins. "Adios" fea­tures col­lab­o­ra­tions with Wil­lie Nel­son and Vince Gill.

Camp­bell was mar­ried four times and had eight chil­dren. As he would con­fide in painful de­tail, he suf­fered for his fame and made oth­ers suf­fer as well. He drank heav­ily, used drugs and in­dulged in a tur­bu­lent re­la­tion­ship with coun­try singer Tanya Tucker in the early 1980s. In late 2003, he was ar­rested near his home in Phoenix af­ter caus­ing a mi­nor traf­fic ac­ci­dent. He later pleaded guilty to "ex­treme" DUI and leav­ing the scene of an ac­ci­dent and served a 10-day sen­tence. Be­sides wife Kim and daugh­ter Ash­ley, Camp­bell is sur­vived by chil­dren Cal, Shan­non, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane and Dil­lon, and 10 grand­chil­dren. — AP

In this file photo, mu­si­cian Glen Camp­bell poses for a por­trait in Mal­ibu, Calif. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.