Monday, May 20, 2024

RIP: Glen Campbell, 81, a Warrior, A Musician and Poet, Beloved by Millions


Glen Campbell has passed away at age 81 after a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was a warrior in the battle against the illness, releasing music, touring and even making a documentary.

Campbell’s longer obits will be found all over the web. His career stretched back to being part of Phil Spector’s Wrecking Crew, playing on hundreds of hits generated by theĀ “Wall of Sound.” In the later 60s he came to prominence with the Smothers Brothers on TV, with his own variety show and hits that propelled him into the 70s like “Gentle on My Mind,” “Galveston” and “Wichita Lineman.” He transcended country and pop at one point, finding poetry in their combination.

In the mid to late 70s, Campbell came roaring back with the hit “Rhinestone Cowboy.” That did it. Coupled with his earlier careers, the “Rhinestone” wave secured him for life in pop history. From then on, Campbell was an institution.

Campbell was married four times. But his most famous relationship was a hot and tempestuous one with country singer Tanya Tucker. She was half his age, he was between marriages and right on the crest of the “Rhinestone” wave. For a hot minute, they were all the rage in the tabloids.

Glen Campbell was a giant, and met a cruel end. But he faced it head on, with incredible courage and grace.

This is absolutely chilling. Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman.” Thanks Glenn.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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