Friday, September 09, 2011

American Top 40 Flashback - Glen Campbell

This is not my favorite Glen Campbell song - "Wichita Lineman" wins that title, hands down - but it's grown on me quite a bit over the years. When it came out, I hated it. Listening to it now, I still wish Glen (or his producer) would have dispensed with the strings, but to be fair a lot of country songs went this route during that era.

There was a feature about Glen in a recent issue of Rolling Stone, and along with the release of his new album comes the sad news that he has early onset Alzheimer's Disease. The article was tough to read; frankly, Glen doesn't sound like he has any business being out on tour right now (it's being billed as a "farewell tour"), which makes me wonder whether there is some exploitation going on here.

My favorite Glen Campbell memory is of a long-ago Tonight Show appearance, circa 1979 or 1980, when Johnny asked Glen to play a tune "at the desk." He picked up his acoustic guitar and began to play, and it was only at that moment that I realized that he was one hell of a guitar player. And to be honest, I didn't realize until I read the RS article that Glen was an unofficial Beach Boy for a good chunk of the sixties.

For all his ups and downs, the man has had a pretty solid career.

"Rhinestone Cowboy," Glen Campbell, the #1 song this week in 1975.

1 comment:

le0pard13 said...

Yes, it was a little tough to read that someone who had such impact in my music history (Wichita Lineman is my all-time fave Campbell single, too) was hit with this onset. Man, my mother loved his music. His TV variety show was one we never missed in the household I grew up in. Thanks, Jeff.