Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Country Star Glen Campbell Loses Battle To Alzheimer's At Age Eighty-One

Keith Urban Pens Touching Tribute to Glen Campbell WireImage Glen Campbell
Elaine Woods | 12 August, 2017, 00:29

"The night I won my first country music award, I got back to my hotel room and there was a fax on the floor", he recalls. He had originally recorded with the group the year before, but when band leader Brian Wilson suffered a nervous breakdown in December 1964, Campbell was hired to take his place on tour, playing bass and singing harmonies.

Popular country music legend Glen Campbell has died at the age of 81.

Watch the trailer for Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me below; it's now streaming on Netflix. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011 and rather than retreating, went on a farewell tour that dealt with his illness and decline with the same candor he'd addressed his relationship troubles and addiction struggles earlier in his life.

JIMMY WEBB: "Wichita Lineman", to me, is a quintessential Glen Campbell record.

His prayers were answered six years later when Campbell made Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" a big hit on the pop and country charts.

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I wasn't even a fan of Glen Campbell when I set up the phone interview with him in 2009, just before his June show at the Alberta Bair Theater. Many remember his television show, the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, which aired between 1969 and 1972.

Campbell was awarded with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

In a statement posted to his official website, Glen's cause of death is said to have been a result of his 2011 diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease, with which he fought a "long and courageous battle". It was a farewell song to the people he loved, but with the message that he would be OK as the disease progressed. He could still hit the notes. In 2013, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" was recorded in his last session. It opens with, "I'm still here/ But yet I'm gone". His farewell tour was captured in an Oscar-nominated documentary called "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me".

Campbell is survived by his wife Kim and their three children; his five children from previous marriages; 10 grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra and Jane; and brothers Gerald and John Wallace.

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