Hit Singer and Guitarist, Glen Campbell, Dies At 81

Hit Singer and Guitarist, Glen Campbell, Dies At 81

Glen Campbell, the upbeat guitarist from Delight, Arkansas, whose smooth vocals and down-home manner made him a mainstay of music and television for decades, has died, his family announced on Facebook on Tuesday. He was 81.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell … following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” a Facebook statement said.

Campbell is best remembered
for a string of country-inflected hits that ran from the mid-’60s to the
late ’80s: “Gentle on My Mind,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “By the Time I Get
to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Southern Nights” and “The
Hand That Rocks the Cradle” among them.
They
fit in neatly on both pop and country radio, with two of them —
“Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights” — hitting No. 1 on the
Billboard Hot 100.
He was also famous for “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” a TV variety show that ran from 1969 to 1972.
Before
he became a solo star, Campbell was one of the music business’ most
in-demand session guitarists, known for his astonishing speed and his
brilliant ear.
He was part of the famed “Wrecking Crew
of L.A. session musicians that included Hal Blaine, Leon Russell, Larry
Knechtel and Carol Kaye. The crack band played on records by Phil
Spector, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, the Monkees, the Beach Boys and
Frank Sinatra.
That’s Campbell’s
fretwork on the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and “Help Me Rhonda,”
Sinatra’s “Something in the Night” and Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas,”
among hundreds of recordings.
Such
versatility was a necessity to get work and stay fresh, Campbell said
in an interview. As a teenager, he was in a band with his uncle and the
group had a regular radio gig. 
 
“Music was my world before they started putting a label on it,” he told ClassicBands.com in 1999.
“We had a five-day-a-week radio show, six, seven years. You use up a
lot of material doing that. We did everything from country to pop, when
rock came along.”
Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Brian Wilson, Lenny Kravitz and other musicians flooded Twitter with tributes to Campbell.
“Thank
you Glen Campbell for sharing your talent with us for so many years May
you rest in peace my friend You will never be forgotten,” said fellow
country star Charlie Daniels.
“RIP
my dear old friend Glen Campbell. Music has lost a giant of a man & a
talent. I shall be forever grateful for everything he did for me,” said
singer Anne Murray.
The singer’s
daughter, Ashley Campbell, said she is “heartbroken. I owe him
everything I am, and everything I ever will be. He will be remembered so
well and with so much love.”

 

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