A Small Tribute to Glen Campbell Who Died Earlier This Month

“Glen Campbell, Rhinestone Cowboy, dead at 81” hardly tells the story.

Most Americans, my own self included, knew nothing about Glen Campbell until The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour first appeared on television in 1969.

For many young Americans concerned with stopping the Vietnam War, touting the virtues of sex, drugs and Rock and Roll, Campbell was an object of derision.  Campbell’s show was a mix of country and pop music infused with humor.  The Goodtime Hour lasted four years and not only made Glen Campbell a household name for many older, blue collar Americans, it introduced other fine musicians like Johnny Hartford, the man who stood up in the audience and began playing the banjo at the beginning of his shows. 

I saw Hartford once in a small venue in Memphis, years later, where he walked out, said nothing, put down a small mat, scattered sand on it, went somewhere else in his mind and began playing the fiddle, singing, and doing the soft shoe all at the same time.

I never saw Glen Campbell in person, but I enjoyed a lot of his music through songs like “Wichita Lineman”, and, of course, "Rhinestone Cowboy".

All evidence points to Glen Campbell being a very traditional person, with a loving family, who had a lot of musical talent.  With a Scots name like Campbell he was interested in that heritage and learned to play the bagpipe.

Over the years Campbell played with many other musicians.  Here he is with Roy Clark playing, “Ghost Riders in the Sky”.

When it became known that Mr. Campbell had Alzheimer’s disease his family took him on a final tour.  At that point he no longer had any short term memory, had to be told what song to play next, and when Alzheimer’s came up in a segment recorded at home, he appeared shocked to find out that he had it.  Of course, mercifully, he probably remembered nothing of that conversation five minutes later.

His final studio album was titled, “Adios” and appears to have been a collection of his favorite songs.

His last song was a tearjerker.

Early on I was surprised to find that Campbell was from my home state, Arkansas.  Not just from Arkansas; he was from Delight.  Delight is not exactly on the road to anywhere.  It is in a beautiful area of the state in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains in the southwestern part of the state.  Glen Campbell's family took him back to Delight to be buried.  

What follows is a shameless advertisement for the state I still think of as home.

The following images are from vacation sites near Delight.

Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge with view:

Waterfall at Lake Catherine State Park

Experienced Kayakers love the streams in the Ouachita Mountains.  There are a number of Category V streams there providing a challenge to the very best.

Cossatot River State Park - Natural Area near Mena, Arkansas.  One of the finest whitewater streams in mid-America

Views: 89

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 21, 2017 at 11:55am

I posted this and then ran out to see the eclipse.  It was as predicted.  Dogs barked, a neighbor's rooster started crowing and birds in the trees started sounding their alarm calls.  It was the human sounds though that were most impressive; fireworks went off and neighbors started cheering.  Cool!

Sorry you missed it, Glen.

Comment by koshersalaami on August 21, 2017 at 12:47pm

Thank you

Comment by greenheron on August 22, 2017 at 4:48am

For many young Americans concerned with stopping the Vietnam War, touting the virtues of sex, drugs and Rock and Roll, Campbell was an object of derision. 

Glenn, I'm so sorry. I was one of those.

Alzheimer's is a connector. I changed to loving Nancy Reagan, knowing what we both knew about loving someone with Alzheimer's. I feel that way about Glenn Campbell too.

Rodney, did you sell any tiles? 

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 22, 2017 at 5:36am

About half a dozen.  The nicest thing about artists is that we understand that something of us goes into what we do.  One woman gave me more than I was asking telling me that I wasn't charging enough.  She's a weaver it turns out.  They never get what their work is worth.

Thanks for asking.

I felt that way about Nancy Reagan,. too.  It really started before we knew about his problem when she confessed that she had a banana as a nighttime snack because the crunching of anything else might wake him.

Comment by Ron Powell on August 22, 2017 at 6:07am

A little known tidbit about Glen Campbell and others:

The Champs were formed in Los Angeles in December 1957. The five original members were Dave Burgess (rhythm guitar), Danny Flores(sax, piano), Cliff Hills(bass), Buddy Bruce (lead guitar), and Gene Alden (drums). Later members includedDale Norris, Joe Burnas, JIM SEALS, DDASH CROFTS, GLEN CAMPBELL, and Dean Beard.

The band was actually formed AFTER their signature song "Tequila" was releleased as a throw away "B" side and became a hit...

Look at who performed with the "Champs" as they toured the song nation  wide:

More on "Tequila" in a separate post...

Thanks for the reminder and tribute...

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 22, 2017 at 7:25am

Thanks, Ron.  I remember the song, but knew none of the background.  Someone should do a post on "B" sides that shone.  My favorite story is about one of my favorite tunes, "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the M.G.

Booker T. Jones and the M.G. were the house band for Stax records. "The band developed this song while they were waiting for rockabilly singer Billy Lee Riley (a Sun artist) to show up for a session. In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Booker T. Jones said: "That happened as something of an accident. We used the time to record a Blues which we called 'Behave Yourself,' and I played it on a Hammond M3 organ. Jim Stewart, the owner, was the engineer and he really liked it and wanted to put it out as a record. We all agreed on that and Jim told us that we needed something to record as a B-side, since we couldn't have a one-sided record. One of the tunes I had been playing on piano we tried on the Hammond organ so that the record would have organ on both sides and that turned out to be 'Green Onions.'"

Ron, do you play organ?  A previous neighbor/musician had a collection of Hammond organs and a Leslie.  I had a lot of fun recording with him in his studio.  I have no idea what he did with anything we did together.  We didn't part friends, so, I imagine that it got recorded over.  He could play anything, and I usually played rhythm guitar, bass and harmonica as we laid down tracks.  Good memories.

One of the organs was in his home, and one Halloween he created a fright show in his yard and I played creepy music on the organ as he gave out candy to terrified kids.

Comment by Ron Powell on August 22, 2017 at 8:31am

The keyboard, but not the bass pedals..

More on "Tequila" in a separate post:



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