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Campbell passes away at 81

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 – Glen Campbell, a Country Music Hall of Famer and the voice besides such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman," died today at 81. Campbell, who was an ace guitarist, had suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.

Campbell released his final album, "Adios," in June. During his career, Campbell released more than 70 albums and sold 45 million records.

Some of his other big hits were Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Galveston," John Hartford's "Gentle On My Mind" and Allen Toussaint's "Southern Nights."

Campbell made history in 1967 by taking home 4 Grammys in the country and pop categories. For "Gentle on My Mind," he received two awards in country and western, while "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" turned the same trick in pop. Campbell received a Lifetime Grammy Award in 2012.

Glen Travis Campbell was born April 22, 1936 in Billstown, Ark. to a sharecropping father. He started playing music as a child and moved to Albuquerque, N.M. when he was about 18 to play in his uncle's band.

By 1960, he moved to Los Angeles to become a session player. He became in demand and was a member of the vaunted Wrecking Crew. He played on recordings by on recordings by Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Phil Spector.

Campbell enjoyed middling success as a solo artist, but that changed when he worked with producer Al De Lory. In early1967, Campbell scored a top 20 country hit with "Burning Bridges. Everything changed later that year when "Gentle On My Mind" was released. The song was a huge hit for Campbell. It also was the first of five consecutive number one albums for Campbell, including "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" later that year "Hey Little One," "A New Place in the Sun" and "Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell," all in 1968. He would have another number one the following year with "Galveston."

In 1969, Campbell starred in the western movie "True Grit." He also hosted his own weekly variety show, "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" from 1969-72.

"Rhinestone Cowboy" was Campbell's biggest selling single with more than 2 million units sold.

The hits waned with Campbell recording for small labels. He was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. He returned to Capitol for "Meet Glen Campbell" in 2008.

Three years later, Campbell disclosed that he was suffering from Alzheimer's and launched his "Goodbye Tour." At the end of the tour, he went into the studio in Nashville to record "Adios." A documentary about Campbell, "Glen Campbell: I'll Miss You" came out in 2014 with the title track nominated for Best Original Song at the Grammys.

While having a clean image, at least later in his career, Campbell's personal life was marked by tumult. He was married four times and had a well publicized, stormy relationship with fellow country singer Tanya Tucker, who was half his age when they had a relationship.

Part of Campbell's problems included having drug and alcohol abuse, but he gave up both. He resuscitated his image and enjoyed much support from the music community during his illness.

Glen Campbell, a Country Music Hall of Famer and the voice besides such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman," died today at 81. Campbell, who was an ace guitarist, had suffered from Alzheimer's Disease.

Campbell released his final album, "Adios," in June. During his career, Campbell released more than 70 albums and sold 45 million records.

Some of his other big hits were Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Galveston," John Hartford's "Gentle On My Mind" and Allen Toussaint's "Southern Nights."

Campbell made history in 1967 by taking home 4 Grammys in the country and pop categories. For "Gentle on My Mind," he received two awards in country and western, while "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" turned the same trick in pop. Campbell received a Lifetime Grammy Award in 2012.

Glen Travis Campbell was born April 22, 1936 in Billstown, Ark. to a sharecropping father. He started playing music as a child and moved to Albuquerque, N.M. when he was about 18 to play in his uncle's band.

By 1960, he moved to Los Angeles to become a session player. He became in demand and was a member of the vaunted Wrecking Crew. He played on recordings by on recordings by Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Phil Spector.

Campbell enjoyed middling success as a solo artist, but that changed when he worked with producer Al De Lory. In early1967, Campbell scored a top 20 country hit with "Burning Bridges. Everything changed later that year when "Gentle On My Mind" was released. The song was a huge hit for Campbell. It also was the first of five consecutive number one albums for Campbell, including "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" later that year "Hey Little One," "A New Place in the Sun" and "Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell," all in 1968. He would have another number one the following year with "Galveston."

In 1969, Campbell starred in the western movie "True Grit." He also hosted his own weekly variety show, "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" from 1969-72.

"Rhinestone Cowboy" was Campbell's biggest selling single with more than 2 million units sold.

The hits waned with Campbell recording for small labels. He was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. He returned to Capitol for "Meet Glen Campbell" in 2008.

Three years later, Campbell disclosed that he was suffering from Alzheimer's and launched his "Goodbye Tour." At the end of the tour, he went into the studio in Nashville to record "Adios." A documentary about Campbell, "Glen Campbell: I'll Miss You" came out in 2014 with the title track nominated for Best Original Song at the Grammys.

While having a clean image, at least later in his career, Campbell's personal life was marked by tumult. He was married four times and had a well publicized, stormy relationship with fellow country singer Tanya Tucker, who was half his age when they had a relationship.

Part of Campbell's problems included having drug and alcohol abuse, but he gave up both. He resuscitated his image and enjoyed much support from the music community during his illness.

More news for Glen Campbell

CD reviews for Glen Campbell

British Live Performance CD review - British Live Performance
Glen Campbell was in fine voice for this 1990 Doncaster, England concert that features strong performances of many of his classic hits and some rare gems, but at times the collection feels a bit dated by the presence of unmemorable tracks from his current album at the time. Campbell's association with songwriter Jim Webb is celebrated nicely not only with megahits "Galveston," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" and "Wichita Lineman," but one of the highlights is a »»»
I'll Be Me Soundtrack CD review - I'll Be Me Soundtrack
In what will likely become the swansong to Glen Campbell's prolific 50-plus year career, "I'll Be Me" documents both the life and failing health of a man long considered an American icon. While Campbell's battle with Alzheimer's disease is well known, it's still difficult to witness the awful effects of a horrible disease that's effectively robbed him of his musical abilities, cognizance and ability to live life the way anyone of us would wish. »»»
Ghost on the Canvas CD review - Ghost on the Canvas
Glen Campbell slightly gets the start tribute treatment on "Ghost on The Canvas," perhaps his final studio recording due to Alzheimer's. Campbell covers some unlikely songwriters with this collection, but for the most part these unexpected pairings work. For instance, it's great fun to hear Guided By Voices' Hold On Hope, which finds Campbell taking an indie track and polishing it up really nicely. Jakob Dylan's Nothing But The Whole Wide World is starkly beautiful »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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