Every once in a while somebody will come along whom understands music in a way that most of us cannot. They create sounds and melodies that are so pleasing to the ear that when we, the listeners, hear them, we realize we’ve been waiting all our lives to hear it. Today we recognize the man who gave us “Rhinestone Cowboy”, Glen Campbell, a trailblazer of twang, a natural born musician and a legend.
Glenn Campbell was born in 1936 in a small rural community in Arkansas. The seventh of twelve children, he learned to play guitar without learning to read music. Those close to him say, “He was just born knowing”. Soon he moved to Albuquerque New Mexico to join his uncle’s band “Dick Bill and Sandia Mountain Boys”. Making appearances on his uncle’s radio show until his desire to write and sing his own music prompted him to form his first group The Western Wranglers. It wasn’t long before the world recognized the great talent in this young man from Arkansas. He was featured on recordings from such great artists like The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and The King, Elvis Presley. His own saga really began with the release of the hits “Gentle on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” of which Glen won Grammys for both. He was also handpicked by John Wayne to star along side him in the 1969 rendition of “True Grit”. Glen merited his own variety show “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”, a very popular form of entertainment for the 1970’s. Glen was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and also received a Lifetime Achievement from the “Hollywood Music in Media Awards” in 2014.
Although Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011, Glen’s love for music has continued to shine. He bravely set out on his “Goodbye Tour” in 2012 performing alongside three of his children. Performing for the last time in Los Angeles on November 20th, 2012. Throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s music still made sense to him. He might have forgotten a few things from time to time but he never forgot how to strum or how to sing. His guitar was a part of him, and now his guitar is a part of all of us. We may no longer get to see Glen performing but we most definitely can still hear him. He is truly and inspiration to aspiring musicians. He has taught us, all that music is forever.