Glen Campbell died of Alzheimer's disease on 8th August 2017, aged eighty-one, in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. six years after his diagnosis. In April 2017 news reports indicated that Glen had become a patient at an Alzheimer's long-term care and treatment facility.
In March 2016 it had been reported that Glen was living in a Nashville memory care facility and that he was in the "final stages" of his disease. He had been unable to communicate with people or understand what people said to him. However, his family stated he was receiving good care and was "happy" and "cheerful".
On Glen Campbell's eightieth birthday, Jimmy Webb, with whom Glen had frequently collaborated, announced he would launch a special edition of his national touring show on May 3rd, twenty-sixteen, called "Jimmy Webb:The Glen Glen Campbell Years", at Nashville's City Winery.
Glen was born Glen Travis Campbell on April 22nd 1936 in Billstown, a tiny community near Delight in Pike County, Arkansas, USA He was the seventh son of twelve children. The family lived on farm where they barely got by growing cotton, corn, watermelons and potatoes. They had no electricity, and money was scarce. To supplement income the family picked cotton for more successful farmers.
Glen started playing guitar at age four after his uncle Boo gave him a Sears-bought five-dollar guitar as a gift, with his uncle teaching him the basics of how to play. Glen said that most of his family was musical. By the time Glen Campbell was six he was performing on local radio stations.
Glen Campbell continued playing guitar in his youth, with no formal training, and practiced when he wasn't working in the cotton fields. He developed his talent by listening to radio and records, and considered Django Reinhardt among his most admired guitarists, whom he called "the most awesome player I ever heard." Glen Campbell dropped out of school at fourteen to work in Houston alongside his brothers, installing insulation and later working at a gas station.
Not satisfied with that kind of unskilled work, Glen Campbell started playing music at fairs and church picnics and singing gospel hymns in the church choir. He was able to find spots performing on local radio stations and after his parents moved to Houston, he made some appearances in a local nightclub.
In nineteen54, at age seventeen, Glen Campbell moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to join his uncle's band, known as Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys. He also appeared there on his uncle's radio show and on K Circle B Time, the local children's program on KOB television. It was there that he met his first wife, whom he married when he was seventeen and she was sixteen.
In nineteen58, Glen Campbell formed his own band, the Western Wranglers. "We worked hard," he said. "Six, sometimes seven nights a week. I didn't have my eye set on any specific goals or big dreams."
In Nineteen-sixty, Glen Campbell moved to Los Angeles to become a session musician. That October, he joined the Champs. By January Nineteen-sixty-one, Glen Campbell had found a daytime job at publishing company American Music, writing songs and recording demos. Because of these demos Glen Campbell soon was in demand as a session musician and became part of a group of studio musicians later known as the Wrecking Crew.
Glen Campbell played on recordings by Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, the Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Frank Sinatra, Ronnie Dove, Phil Spector and Elvis Presley. He befriended Presley when he helped record the soundtrack for Viva Las Vegas in Nineteen-sixty-four.
In May Nineteen-sixty-one, he left the Champs and was subsequently signed by Crest Records, a subsidiary of American Music. His first solo release, "Turn Around, Look at Me", a moderate success, peaked at number sixty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 in Nineteen-sixty-one. Glen Campbell also formed the Gee Cees with former bandmembers from the Champs, performing at the Crossbow Inn in Van Nuys. The Gee Cees, too, released a single on Crest, the instrumental "Buzz Saw", which did not chart.
In Nineteen-sixty-two, Glen Campbell signed with Capitol Records. After minor initial success with "Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry", his first single for the label, and "Kentucky Means Paradise", released by The Green River Boys featuring Glen Glen Campbell, a string of unsuccessful singles and long playing records followed. By nineteen-sixty-three his playing and singing were heard on 586 recorded songs. He never learned to read music, but besides guitar, he could play the banjo, mandolin and bass.
From Nineteen-sixty-four on, Glen Campbell began to appear on television as a regular on Star Route, a syndicated series hosted by Rod Cameron, ABC's Shindig!, and Hollywood Jamboree.
From December Nineteen-sixty-four to early March nineteen-sixty-five, Glen Campbell was a touring member of the Beach Boys, filling in for Brian Wilson, playing bass guitar and singing falsetto harmonies.
In nineteen-sixty-five, he had his biggest solo hit yet, reaching number fourty-five on the Hot 100 with a version of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier". Asked about the pacifist message of the song, he said that "people who are advocating burning draft cards should be hung."
Glen Campbell played guitar on the Beach Boys' nineteen-sixty-six long playing record 'Pet Sounds', among other recordings. In April that year, he joined Ricky Nelson on a tour through the Far East, again playing bass.
When follow-up singles did not do well, and Capitol was considering dropping Glen Campbell from the label in nineteen-sixty-six, he was teamed with producer Al De Lory. Together, they first collaborated on "Burning Bridges" which became a top twenty country hit in early nineteen-sixty-seven, and the long playing record of the same name.
Glen Campbell and De Lory collaborated again on nineteen-sixty-seven's "Gentle on My Mind", written by John Hartford, which was an overnight success. The song was followed by the bigger hit "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" later in nineteen-sixty-seven, and "I Wanna Live" and "Wichita Lineman" in nineteen-sixty-eight, remaining on Billboard's Top 100 charts for fifteen weeks. He won four Grammy Awards for "Gentle on My Mind" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix".
In nineteen-sixty-seven, Glen Campbell was also the uncredited lead vocalist on "My World Fell Down" by Sagittarius, a studio group. The song reached number seventy on the Billboard Hot 100.
The nineteen-sixty-nine song "True Grit" by composer Elmer Bernstein and lyricist Don Black, and sung by Glen Campbell, who co-starred in the movie, received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Song and the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
After he hosted a nineteen-sixty-eight summer replacement for television's The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour variety show, Glen Campbell hosted his own weekly variety show, The Glen Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, from January nineteen-sixty-nine through June nineteen-seventy-two. The show's comedy writers included Steve Martin and Rob Reiner. At the height of his popularity, a nineteen-seventy biography by Freda Kramer, The Glen Glen Campbell Story, was published.
With Glen Campbell's session-work connections, he hosted major names in music on his show, including The Beatles, David Gates, Bread, The Monkees, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, and Mel Tillis. Glen Campbell helped launch the careers of Anne Murray and Jerry Reed, who were regulars on his Goodtime Hour program.
During the late Nineteen-sixties and early nineteen-seventies, Glen Campbell released a long series of singles and appeared in the movies True Grit (nineteen-sixty-nine) with John Wayne and Kim Darby and Norwood(nineteen-seventy) with Kim Darby and Joe Namath.
After the cancellation of his CBS series in nineteen-seventy-two, Glen Campbell remained a regular on network television. He co-starred in a made-for-television movie, Strange Homecoming , with Robert Culp and up-and-coming teen idol, Leif Garrett. He hosted a number of television specials, including nineteen-seventy-six's Down Home, Down Under with Olivia Newton-John. He co-hosted the American Music Awards from nineteen-seventy-six to nineteen seventy-eight and headlined the nineteen seventy-nine NBC special Glen Glen Campbell: Back to Basics with guest-stars Seals and Crofts and Brenda Lee. He was a guest on many network talk and variety shows, including: Donny & Marie and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where he performed "Rhinestone Cowboy". He has also appeared on Cher, the Redd Foxx Comedy Hour, The Merv Griffin Show, The Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack, DINAH!, Evening at Pops with Arthur Fiedler and The Mike Douglas Show. From nineteen eighty-two to nineteen-eight-three, he hosted a 30-minute syndicated music show, The Glen Glen Campbell Music Show.
In the mid-nineteen-seventies, he had more hits with "Rhinestone Cowboy", "Southern Nights" (both U.S. number one hits), "Sunflower" and "Country Boy ".
"Rhinestone Cowboy" was Glen Campbell's largest-selling single and one of his best-known recordings, initially with over 2 million copies sold. Glen Campbell had heard songwriter Larry Weiss' version while on tour of Australia in nineteen-seventy-four. Both songs were in the October 4th nineteen-seventy-five, Hot 100 top 10. Rhinestone Cowboy was the inspiration for the nineteen-eighty-four Dolly Parton/Sylvester Stallone movie Rhinestone. The main phrase of Glen Campbell's recording was included in Dickie Goodman's Jaws movie parody song "Mr. Jaws". Glen Campbell also made a techno/pop version of the song in 2002 with UK artists Rikki & Daz and went to the top ten in the UK with the dance version and related music video.
"Southern Nights", by Allen Toussaint, his other number one pop-rock-country crossover hit, was generated with the help of Jimmy Webb, and Jerry Reed, who inspired the famous guitar lick introduction to the song, which was the most-played jukebox number of nineteen-seventy-seven.
From nineteen-seventy-one to nineteen-eighty-three, Glen Campbell was the celebrity host of the Los Angeles Open, an annual professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour.
Glen Campbell made a cameo appearance in the nineteen-eighty Clint Eastwood movie 'Any Which Way You Can', for which he recorded the title song. In nineteen-ninety-one, he provided the voice of the Elvis Presley sound-alike rooster Chanticleer in the Don Bluth film Rock-a-Doodle. He gave up smoking on March 15th, nineteen-ninety-two, and believed his singing voice improved as a result. In nineteen-ninety-nine, Glen Campbell was featured on VH-1's Behind the Music, A&E Network's Biography in 2001, and on a number of CMT programs. Glen Campbell ranked 29th on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music in 2003. He is also credited with giving Alan Jackson his first big break. Glen Campbell met Jackson's wife (a flight attendant with Piedmont Airlines) at Atlanta Airport and gave her his publishing manager's business card. Jackson went to work for Glen Campbell's music publishing business in the early nineteen-nineties and later had many of his hit songs published in part by Glen Campbell's company, Seventh Son Music. Glen Campbell also served as an inspiration to Keith Urban, who cites Glen Campbell as a strong influence on his performing career.
In 2005, Glen Campbell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was announced in April 2008 that Glen Campbell was returning to his signature label, Capitol, to release his new long playing record, Meet Glen Glen Campbell. The long playing record was released on August nineteenth. With this long playing record, he branched off in a different musical direction, covering tracks from artists such as Travis, U2, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jackson Browne, and Foo Fighters. It was Glen Campbell's first release on Capitol in over fifteen years. Musicians from Cheap Trick and Jellyfish contributed to the long playing record, as well. The first single, a cover of Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", was released to radio in July 2008.
In March two-thousand-and -ten, a then-farewell long playing record titled 'Ghost on the Canvas' was announced which served as a companion to 'Meet Glen Glen Campbell' .
Following his late two-thousand-and -ten Alzheimer's diagnosis, Glen Campbell embarked on a final "Goodbye Tour", with three of his children joining him in his backup band. His final show was on November 30th twenty-twelve, in Napa, California. After the end of the tour, Glen Campbell entered the studio in his home town Nashville to record what would be his final long playing record, 'Adiós', which would not be revealed until five years later. According to his wife, Kim Campbell, he wanted to preserve "what magic was left", in what would be his final recordings. In January 2013, Glen Campbell recorded his final song, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You", during what would be his last recording sessions. The song, which is featured in the 2014 documentary, 'Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me', was released on September 30th 2014, with the documentary following on October 24th. On January 15th 2015 Glen Campbell and fellow songwriter Julian Raymond were nominated for Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards.
On August 30th twenty-sixteen, during the 10th Annual ACM Honors, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton and others performed a medley of Glen Glen Campbell's songs in tribute to him. His wife Kim Campbell accepted the Career Achievement Award on his behalf. Alice Cooper described him as being one of the five best guitar players in the music industry.
In April 2017, Glen Campbell's final long playing record, Adiós, was announced, featuring twelve songs from his final twenty-twelve–13 sessions. The long playing record was released on June 9th 2017.
Glen Campbell was married four times, and fathered five sons and three daughters, ranging in year of birth from nineteen-fifty-six to nineteen-eighty-six. Glen Campbell's eldest daughter is Debby, from his marriage (nineteen55–nineteen59) to Diane Kirk. After divorcing Kirk, Glen Campbell married Billie Jean Nunley, a beautician from Carlsbad, New Mexico, who gave birth to Kelli, Travis, and Kane. Billie Glen Campbell filed for divorce in nineteen-seenty-five, and their divorce was final in nineteen-seventy-six. Shortly after that, he married singer Mac Davis' second wife, Sarah Barg, in September nineteen-seventy-six. They had one child named Dillon and divorced three weeks after Dillon's birth, in nineteen-eighty.
Immediately after his divorce from Barg, Glen Campbell began a relationship with fellow country artist Tanya Tucker, who was 22 years his junior. The relationship fuelled frequent tabloid gossip and articles. The couple recorded a number of songs together, including the single "Dream Lover", and they performed the national anthem together at the nineteen-eighty Republican National Convention.
Glen Campbell married Kimberly "Kim" Woollen in nineteen eighty-two. The couple met on a blind date in nineteen-eighty-one when Woollen was a Radio City Music Hall "Rockette". Together, they had three children: Cal, Shannon, and Ashley. All three joined Glen Campbell on stage, starting in two-thousand-and -ten, as part of his touring band.
Glen Campbell, who was raised in the Church of Christ, Baptist, joined a Baptist Church in Phoenix along with his wife Kim. In a 2008 interview, they said that they had been adherents of Messianic Judaism for two decades, and attended the local synagogue every Saturday along with celebrating Jewish holidays and Christmas.
Glen Campbell had problems with alcoholism and cocaine addiction in the early nineteen-eighties. He was arrested in 2003 and pleaded guilty to drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident. He spent ten days in jail.
On The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour television show, Glen Campbell avoided political topics. Around this time, he described himself in interviews as "a registered Democrat but voted Republican a few times", and he performed in support of both Republican and Democratic politicians. Glen Campbell performed the National Anthem at the nineteen-eighty Republican National Convention and continued to make a number of campaign appearances for Republican candidates during the nineteen-eighties and nineteen-nineties.
In June twenty-eleven, Glen Campbell announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease six months earlier. According to his family, symptoms of the disease had been occurring for years, becoming increasingly evident as time progressed.
Glen Campbell went on a final "Goodbye Tour" with three of his children joining him in his backup band. His final show was on November 30th, twenty-twelve, in Napa, California. He performed "Rhinestone Cowboy" as a goodbye at the twenty-twelve Grammy Awards ceremony held on February 12th twenty-twelve, his final televised on-stage performance.