Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RIP Glen Campbell...

"I'm Gonna Love You" is probably my favorite song by the late Glen Campbell...  This particular arrangement isn't my favorite, though.  Let's see if I can find a less orchestrated one.

Yes, this is the version I love...

Glen Campbell died yesterday after fighting Alzheimer's disease for six years.  He was 81 years old, the same age my dad was when he died three years ago.  Glen Campbell's music often reminds me of my parents.  When I was little, he was all the rage.  My parents owned a few of his albums and would play them in the car when we took road trips.  Consequently, I grew up liking his music, even if he was a little before my generation.

Years after I stopped listening to Campbell on 8 track, I married Bill.  Bill happens to be a distant relative of Glen Campbell's on his mother's side, although they never knew each other.  Bill's mother's family is from Arkansas, which was where Campbell was born and he was the seventh of twelve children.  It's not hard to believe he was related to Bill.  Bill kind of resembles him, although he doesn't have musical talent to speak of.

The funny thing is, I was just talking to Bill about Glen Campbell the other day.  We were in the car and Campbell's duet with Leslie Satcher came up on my iPod.  We were talking about how talented he was and his connections to Bill's family.  I had read Campbell's life story, Rhinestone Cowboy, when I was in Armenia.  Someone had left the book in the U.S. Embassy library and I was desperate to read anything in English.  I actually enjoyed the book and learned a lot from it, even if Campbell did get a bit political (and his politics were much more conservative than mine are).  Despite his politics, I found his story fascinating and read it several times over two years abroad!

Glen Campbell at the top of his game...  Before he was a singer, he was a renowned guitar player.

As much as I loved Glen Campbell as a singer and guitar player, I especially enjoyed his talents on the bagpipes.  I made this video after noting that no one had uploaded the beautiful "Grafhaidh Me Thu" on YouTube (the melody for "I'm Gonna Love You").

After I read Campbell's story-- and that was years before I met Bill-- I became more interested in his music.  I remember watching his variety show on cable back when Bill and I first got married.  I think I may have been born about ten years later than I should have.  I love variety shows, especially the ones from back in the day when people were genuinely talented and didn't rely on gimmicks.

Here he is with Anne Murray on his Goodtime Hour, which aired before I was aware of life.

And with the lovely Linda Ronstadt...

A later video with Glen's daughter, Ashley, playing banjo...

Glen Campbell was also quite the emcee... check out how cool he is with a lit cigarette.

Glen Campbell led a long and colorful life.  He had his ups and downs... lots of children, lots of relationships, lots of controversies and dramas...  Through it all, he remained a true talent.  His music will always be part of the soundtrack of my life.  May he rest in peace.

A very poignant last song...

Well worth the read if you can find it...


  1. My mom has her mom's old vinyl Glen Campbell albums. Wichita Lineman was probably my favorite song he did. O one of his albums _- I think it was the "Galveston" album -- was a song my brother and I always found hysterical because the title was so classically country. The song was called "How Come Ev'ry Time I Itch, I Wind Up Scratchin' You?"

    He was amazingly talented. His voice held up incredibly well considering what his body was enduring.

    1. Yes, he was quite a musical wonder. It's too bad his final years were so difficult. But, you know, he lived life to the fullest, especially in the 70s, when he was still quite the party animal.


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