I just saw the news the Glen Campbell has passed away at the age of 81.
When his first top ten single came out, “Witchita Lineman”, I was 9 years old. While many of my friends were into the Beatles, the Stones, and other rock music, I preferred to listen to the likes of Neil Diamond, the Beach Boys, and country artists like Glen Campbell. The latter was definitely influenced by my Dad.
I think part of the reason that Campbell’s music was so popular for so many was the fact that it really crossed all boundaries. He was a country storyteller with the up tempo of pop and driving guitar of rock.
I remember watching “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” with my parents. Songs like “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “By The Time I Get To Phoenix”, and “Gentle On My Mind” were big favorites.
Glen was not just popular with the fans either. The Beach Boys recruited him to fill in for Brian Wilson after his breakdown on tour. Campbell had both the bass guitar skills and high vocals to fit in. He also jammed with other favorites such as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Rick Nelson.
Glen Campbell didn’t always travel the easy path. He didn’t go far with acting, had problems with drugs and alcohol, and dated Tanya Tucker who was much younger than he was. But he did clean up and was able to have a fairly successful comeback even with the onset of Alzheimer’s.
But he will always be the Rhinestone Cowboy to me. RIP Glen, you will be missed.