Revered singer and guitarist Glen Campbell has passed away at the age of 81, following a protracted fight with Alzheimer’s disease.
The news has been confirmed by his family, via a message on Facebook and glencampbell.com.
Many are well aware of Arkansas-born Campbell’s legacy of hits – Wichita Linesman, Galveston, Gentle On My Mind, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Try a Little Kindness, Rhinestone Cowboy and, of course, US number one Southern Nights (as recently heard in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) – but his contribution to the music of the 1960s as a session muso isn’t as well publicised. Campbell’s guitar work was heard on hits by the likes of Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, the Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Frank Sinatra and even Elvis Presley.
For a time in 1964-1965, Campbell joined the touring line-up of The Beach Boys as a replacement for Brian Wilson on bass and falsetto vocals. This later led to him playing on the band’s legendary album Pet Sounds.
As his solo career fired up, Campbell was given his own TV variety show – The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour – which ran from 1969 until 1972. He was also no stranger to movie appearances, both in-person and via his music. Campbell starred in the classic 1969 John Wayne western True Grit, as well as the 1970 Vietnam vet tale Norwood.
His 10 Grammy-winning career had highlights and lowlights, yet Campbell’s popularity remained steady. Despite announcing that he had Alzheimer’s in 2011, he not only released a new album, Ghost on the Canvas, he also followed it with a tour.
Campbell’s family have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the CareLiving.org donation page.
Campbell once said, “I would have been content to just do studio work, making it on my own never really entered my mind.” Luckily others saw his potential, and he’s left us with an incredible musical legacy. Vale Glen Travis Campbell.