Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell 1936-2017

Singer-songwriter-guitarist-actor-TV host Glen Campbell has died of Alzheimer's disease, from which he had suffered for about six years, in an assisted living facility in Nashville.  He was 81.

Glen Travis Campbell was born on April 22, 1936 in Billstown, Arkansas.  He was one of the twelve children of John Wesley Campbell and the former Carrie Dell Stone.  He learned guitar during his childhood, and in 1954, moved to Albuquerque to join a band that included his uncle.  In 1960, he moved to Los Angeles to work as a studio musician, eventually joining what would later be called the Wrecking Crew.  Starting in late 1964, Campbell spent several months as a touring musician for the Beach Boys, filling in for Brian Wilson on bass guitar and harmony vocals.

As a solo artist, Campbell struggled for several years before having a huge hit in 1967 with Gentle On My Mind, written by John Hartford.  He had several major hits that were composed by Jimmy Webb, including By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Wichita Lineman and Galveston.  He co-starred in the John Wayne movie True Grit, and sang its title song.  From January 1969 to June 1972, he hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.  He would later host several TV specials.  During the 1970's, he continued to have hits, such as Rhinestone Cowboy, Southern Nights and Sunflower.

Campbell was married four times and had eight children, but was also known for his relationship with fellow country singer Tanya Tucker, which attracted some attention from gossip columnists.  After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011, he went on his "goodbye tour", which finished in November 2012.  He is survived by his fourth wife Kimberly Woollen, whom he married in 1982.

Read more at Rolling Stone, Variety, TMZ, The Hollywood Reporter and Us Weekly.

UPDATE:  Glen Campbell is remembered by his golfing buddy, Alice Cooper.

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