Friday, December 16, 2011

One last time...


I may be the only 33-year-old in America with a hand-picked, self-created "Glen Campbell's Greatest" playlist on my iPod. So be it.

I am a fan. Have been for a long time.

I guess it probably started with "Rhinestone Cowboy," one of those songs you grow up with. And "Gentle on my Mind," which I think is brilliant, and "Wichita Lineman," which I think is poetry. Plus, I liked the fact he used to be a Beach Boy. Somewhere along the way, more than 20 years ago now, I saw "True Grit." You know, the real one, with John Wayne. And with Glen.

I finally saw him in concert in the 1990s. He'd lost his high register by then, no longer sounding like a Dee-light, Arkansas country boy on speed ("Hello, everybody, I'm Glen Campbell!")

All those Jimmy Webb gems were favorites, including the rarer ones, like "Where's the Playground Susie?" and "Still Within the Sound of My Voice." And he could pick a guitar like nobody's business.

Saw him again two years ago in North Carolina. That time around, I started collecting his vinyl records. I finally stopped when I ran out of room.

Last night, I bought one more Glen Campbell vinyl: his final studio album, "Ghost on the Canvas." The Rhinestone Cowboy stopped in Maryville to say goodbye. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in July. Sigh, sigh.

You can read my thoughts on the show in Monday's Shopper-News. For now, I'll say it was a bittersweet night and felt very much like what it was -- a final salute to an old friend.

You'll be missed, Glen. Thanks for the music.

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