The Rhinestone Cowboy has finally left us for the great cattle ranch in the sky. Glen Campbell is no more having breathed his last on August 8, 2017 after a long hard battle with Alzheimer’s that stole from him the last 7 years of his life. Since 2016, Campbell was always in the news after having been shifted to a special medical facility having entered the last failing stages of the dreaded disease. Fans suspected the inevitable when his wife Kim spoke of how he had lost the ability to communicate.
It was a heartwarming fact to know that Campbell always remained cheerful and in good spirits even to the end. The man whose voice went platinum with memorable hits such as Wichita Linesman and By The Time I Get To Phoenix will forever be in our hearts for having given us the best of country music. Campbell was a million dollar platinum selling country music singer and will forever be known as the Rhinestone Cowboy due to his best known hit single of the same name. To honor him, here are 8 best known facts about Glen Campbell.
1. He made country music history at the Grammy awards of 1967
At the 1967 Grammy Awards, he made country music history by winning four Grammys in both the country and pop category. It was Gentle on My Mind and By The Time I Get To Phoenix that propelled Campbell to stardom in that year. His music went on to win him the Grammy hall of fame award and Grammy lifetime achievement award. In the following year 1968, the country music association (CMA) awarded him the entertainer of the year. By the time I get to Phoenix won him another Grammy in 1969.
2. He started playing the guitar at the age of four
Although Campbell had a very tough childhood growing up on a farm picking cotton with his twelve siblings, he started learning the guitar aged four after an Uncle gifted him one. By the time he was 15, he was playing in local pubs and bars.
3. He was part of the band “Wrecking crew before he started his own walk to fame
Campbell started out as part of the Band “The wrecking crew” a group of studio Musicians in Los Angeles which included guitarists Barney Kessel and James Burton, and pianists Leon Russell and Mac “Dr John” Rebennack. The group played songs of Elvis Presley and the Monkees “daydream believer”
4. Campbell played with the Beach Boys for a year
Glen Campbell filled in for Brian Wilson and joined the beach Boys for a year’s tour during 1964 to 1965.In the same year he also joined Ricky nelson on tour. Such appearances paved the way for Campbell’s own unique sound and success
5. Wichita Lineman makes billboard history
Aming facts about Glen Campbell, his song Wichita Lineman recorded in 1968 went on to remain on the Billboard top 100 charts for 15 weeks. The song was then inducted into the Grammy awards hall of fame. This was followed By The Time I Get To Phoenix in 2004 and Gentle On My Mind in 2008
6. Campbell’s last recorded song two years ago won him his 10th Grammy award
Even as he was nearing the last stages of Alzheimer’s, Campbell recorded the song I’m Not Gonna Miss you with Julian Raymond in 2015. The song was featured in his documentary, Glen Campbell: I’ll be me. The song went on to win Campbell his tenth and last Grammy Award. It would also be the last song Campbell would ever record in his life.
7. Campbell’s most famous song was Rhinestone Cowboy
Surprisingly, Rhinestone Cowboy wasn’t a Glen Campbell original. It was written and recorded by Larry Weiss in 1974 during which time Campbell was on tour in Australia. He liked the song and decided to do a new recorded version after which the song became famous on music stations around the world. It was the first song that accomplished the feat of topping both Hot 100 and country charts simultaneously. Campbell too declared it was his most famous song. To his fans he was always recorded as the Rhinestone Cowboy. In the photo above he is pictured with daughter Ashley Campbell
8. His battle with Alzheimer’s
Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in early 2011. The disease had shown signs and symptoms that soon became more pronounced with time until Campbell was officially diagnosed with it. Campbell retired from music with a goodbye tour in 2012 when his children sung alongside him as backup singers. The disease slowly took hold and Campbell was shifted to a special facility in 2014. From then on, it was a downward slide as heartbroken fans around the world were given updates on social media by his wife Kim Campbell.
When Kim’s last update said he had lost his ability to communicate, the news wasn’t shocking as fans and the country music world lay in sad expectation of the inevitable. Campbell expired on August 8, 2017. “We your fans will forever remember you as the one and only Rhinestone Cowboy. Thank you for the music and may you always Rest in Peace”. To honor Glen Campbell, watch him perform his most famous song Like a Rhinestone Cowboy.