I liked Glen Campbell's music in the '60s, but I came to be a much bigger fan after he got sick. I saw a couple of documentaries about him and was surprised to learn of his guitar playing talent.
Tommy Smothers, who hired Campbell to host the Smothers Brothers summer replacement show, said he was "a prodigy on the guitar," and he meant that literally. He started playing at 10, learning what he could from musical family members, then went on the road at 16 in his uncles band where he learned much more. Not long after that he was in Los Angeles working as a studio musician with a loose knit group of session players who, at some point, became known as the Wrecking Crew.
Since he was not formally trained in music he couldn't read it. Carol Kaye, a studio bandmate, talented in her own right, said...
"He was a fantastic guitarist, playing mainly by ear, but his great singing voice caught us all by surprise later on. [...] A couple of times, I had to hum him his parts when he whispered ‘How does this go?’ He did well with chord charts, though, did some great guitar solos and was fantastic on the record dates.
He played on records of the biggest artists of the time. Rock & Roll and pop singers such as Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Ricky Nelson, Jan and Dean, The Righteous Brothers, Sam Cooke, Simon and Garfunkle, The Vogues, Sonny and Cher, The Monkees and Country artists Roger Miller and Merle Haggard, as well as the polished crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole are just a sample of the work he did as a studio player.
His great singing voice and the ability to pick good songs for himself led to a couple of big hits, after which he was off and running as a solo artist. He became one of the first major cross over artists between Country and Pop. Singer and fiddleist (???) Charlie Daniels said...
...Campbell “filled a niche in American music that very few people have ever reached … He represented the best of the pop and the best of country, and he pulled people in from both sides. It was a great thing for country music, and frankly, for pop music”.
If you have Netflix you can search for two documentaries that include him.
1) Glen Campbell, I'll Be Me. It deals with his Alzheimer's disease from the diagnosis of it to his last performance.
2) The Wrecking Crew. It is the story of the session players, many of whom are interviewed including Campbell.
When I got baptized at the International Assembly in Vancouver Canada in 1974 when I was 17, there was a rumor flying around that Glen was there and was going to be baptized.
Same exact rumor as floated around in Vancouver B.C. in 1969 too..
I love that era and genre of music. His performance of Gentle on my mind is very moving to me. The tune was written by John Hartford, of course, but Campbell made it a hit.
Hey Flip, another thing we have in common, I luv, luv, luv the song Wichita Lineman.
Surprised to see (unless I overlooked it) that there was rumor a few decades ago that his parents were Dubs, I doubt that just for the sake of some more witnesses starting another false rumor, but he comes from a large family so maybe one of his siblings are one of his many nieces are nephews may have attended a few meetings way back when
...there was rumor a few decades ago that his parents were Dubs, I doubt that just for the sake of some more witnesses starting another false rumor...
Your doubts are well founded. Campbell's parents were members of the Church of Christ, which is how Glen was raised. After he had success Glen built a Church - a Church house as they usually call it - close to his parent's house so they could walk to church. This was mentioned in a documentary that I saw a couple of years ago.
I suppose it's possible that a sibling or two could have had an association with JWs, but Church of Christ members are devout haters of anything Jehovah's Witness.
Just another singing legend who has passed -Vale Glen Campbell