I’ve posted about the tragedy of Glen Campbell before.
The recently released story of the Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell, entitled I’ll Be Me is a difficult view. I hadn’t seen it previously, and was somewhat nervous to see it, as I knew how emotional it was likely to be.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it; it really is a poignant tragedy. It certainly is a great credit to Campbell and his family to show such a raw view of the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease. As his musical and entertainment lifetime, covering over five decades, is unmatched for its prolific breadth, popular appeal – and flat-out musical accomplishment and achievement, Campbell is in the 6th stage of Alzheimer’s. This vicious disease ends at the 7th stage.
Campbell went on a final “Goodbye Tour”, with three of his children joining him in his backup band; his last show was on November 30, 2012, in Napa, California. Campbell sang “Rhinestone Cowboy” as a goodbye at the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony held on February 12, 2012. In April 2014, news reports indicated that Campbell had become a patient at an Alzheimer’s long-term care and treatment facility.
In 1960, Campbell moved to Los Angeles to become a session musician. Around this time he became part of a group called The Champs. Campbell soon was in demand as a session musician, and was part of a group of studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. During this period he played on recordings by Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Phil Spector.
Since 1962, Campbell has recorded and released fifty-seven studio albums and six live albums. He has also lent his vocals to four soundtracks for motion pictures (True Grit, Norwood, Rock-A-Doodle and Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me). He has placed a total of eighty-two singles (one of which was a re-release) on either the Billboard Country Chart, the Billboard Hot 100, or the Adult Contemporary Chart, nine of which peaked at number one on at least one of those charts. He has released fifteen video albums and has been featured in twenty-one music videos. His first two music videos, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman”, were directed by Gene Weed in 1967 and 1968 respectively. Campbell released his final music video, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”, in 2014 to coincide with the release of the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.
I watched the documentary on Netflix. If you don’t have access to that, the full tragic story can be rented through You Tube(posted below) for a nominal fee. The price is more than worth it; just keep a box of tissues handy.