There are so many memories and songs that Glen performed or played on that it would boggle the mind.
Glen was a self-taught guitar player, and long before he became a household name, he was a highly sought-after studio musician, playing on hundreds of hit records. Campbell played on hits by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and many others. He was part of a group of studio musicians that would eventually be called “The Wrecking Crew” because of their ability to knock out songs faster – and better – than any other session musicians in the nation.
I highly recommend you watch the documentary “The Wrecking Crew”
, which chronicles the amazing group of musicians who played on the majority of American-made hits of the 1960’s.
Glen became a member of the Beach Boys filling in for Brian Wilson for a summer while Wilson was working on writing the Pet Sounds album.
Glenn’s big break came in the summer of 1968, when the Smother’s Brothers variety show was looking for a ‘filler’ show to cover the weeks when they did not produce shows. Glen Campbell was their top-choice for the show, which became a smash success. Once the American television audience saw Glen Campbell, he became the most popular and celebrated country/pop act, and his albums “Gentle on my Mind” and “Wichita Lineman” sold by the millions.
Campbell went on to have more chart success in the 1970’s, including one of the top records of 1975, “Rhinestone Cowboy”. Campbell charted through the 1970’s, and as his personal life became tabloid fodder, his star waned. But he was a fixture of soft-rock and country radio, and in the 1980’s he found more success by singing songs penned by Jimmy Webb, who had written many of Campbell’s earlier hits.
Campbell was a born-again Christian, and after much tumult in his personal life in the early 1980’s, he cleaned up his act and found in his 3rd wife, Kim, the formula that would once again endear him to all America.
In the mid-2000’s, Campbell developed signs of early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. He bravely recorded one more album after his diagnosis, and even went on a national tour,, playing with many of his children who helped monitor him and help him on the rare occasions when he would lose his way.
Glen Campbell’s early albums were fixtures in my home when I was a kid. He was a special talent, and it saddened me to hear of his struggle with Alzheimer’s.
But I am thankful that he had a gift he could share with so many generations.
Rest in peace, Glen. God has his guitar-player now.
Glen Travis Campbell
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the CareLiving.org donation page.
A personal statement from Kim Campbell will follow.
The family appreciates your prayers and respect for their privacy at this time.