Glen Campbell

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Glen Campbell, 2004

Glen Travis Campbell ( 'glɛn' kæmbəɫ ; born April 22, 1936 in Delight ; † August 8, 2017 in Nashville ) was an American country singer and guitarist . In his long career, he had numerous successes beyond the country genre and sold over 45 million albums. His most successful songs include Rhinestone Cowboy , Gentle on My Mind and Southern Nights . Occasionally he was also active as an actor.



Glen Campbell was born in Delight, Arkansas , in 1936 . As a self-taught teenager, he learned to play the guitar without being able to read notes. At 18, he joined the Western Wranglers and toured with them. In 1958 he moved to Los Angeles and began working as a studio musician . In a few short years Campbell became one of the most booked, highest paid Los Angeles studio musicians in a group of musicians called The Wrecking Crew . He worked for Elvis Presley , Frank Sinatra , Dean Martin , the Beach Boys , the Monkees and many other greats of the time. In addition, he released a few albums and singles, which, however, had little success. His first LP was called Big Bluegrass Special and was released in 1962.

In 1964 and early 1965 Campbell went on tour with the Beach Boys, replacing Brian Wilson , who wanted to escape the stress of performing. Campbell was particularly suitable for this, as he had already recorded the Beach Boys' pieces in the studio and could also sing Wilson's high falsetto voice . However, he turned down the offer to join the band because he could earn more money as a studio musician and also dreamed of a career as a soloist. To thank him for the very short notice service, Wilson wrote and produced several songs for Campbell, including Guess I'm Dumb . The song, in whose backing vocals Wilson himself and The Honeys could be heard, did not make it into the charts.

In August 1966, Monument Records owner Fred Foster booked Glen Campbell for a series of recording sessions with country soul singer Arthur Alexander . The pieces Show Me the Road , Turn Around (And Try Me) , Baby This Baby That , Baby I Love You , In My Sorrow and I Want to Marry You with Campbell on guitar were created.


Glen Campbell (1970)

It wasn't until 1968 that Campbell stopped working as a studio musician and turned to catchy country pop. During this period he also had some of his greatest hits, most of which were written by Jimmy Webb . By the Time I Get to Phoenix , Wichita Lineman , Dreams of the Everyday Housewife and Galveston . These songs made him widely known and established Campbell's own sound: "Classical string arrangements, melodic, sonorous guitar, mid-tempo, with a feeling for dynamics, but also this relaxed, natural, warm-sounding voice with a touch of melancholy".

That same year he became the presenter of the Smothers Brothers TV show . Since he led this convincingly, he received his own television show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour . This once ran a week from 1969 to 1972. Also in 1969 took over Campbell a starring role in John Wayne - Western True Grit as a Texas Ranger. He also sang the theme song of the film, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Song , with True Grit . At the height of his popularity, his biography appeared in 1970. During the 1970s, Campbell released a variety of singles, including hits Rhinestone Cowboy , Southern Nights and Sunflower . He also worked in a few other films.

In the late 1970s, the commercial success waned, chart successes with the new pieces failed. Campbell fell into depression and started drugs to consume. After a successful withdrawal, he made a comeback in 1989. With songs like She's Gone, Gone, Gone he made it into the top 10 of the country charts again. In the 1990s he limited himself to playing concerts and published hardly any new material. His autobiography was published under the title Rhinestone Cowboy .

Glen Campbell (2004)

In 2002 Campbell reached the charts with a re-recording of his hit Rhinestone Cowboy , which was produced by the English dance producer duo Rikki & Daz. He made negative headlines the following year when he was drunk and stopped at the wheel of his car and arrested. In 2008 Campbell reported back from musical abstinence. With the album Meet Glen Campbell , which was also released in Germany in August , he interpreted songs by rock bands such as Green Day and Foo Fighters . At the same time he returned to his long-time label Capitol Records .

In February 2011 Campbell announced his last studio album, Ghost on the Canvas, and a farewell tour for the fall. His last studio recording, the song I'm Not Gonna Miss You , was released in 2014 for the biopic Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me and was awarded a Grammy for Best Country Song. In June 2017, his last album Adiós was released, consisting of recordings made in 2012 and 2013.

Private life

Campbell was married four times, most recently to Kimberly Woolen, and has eight children. In June 2011 it was announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease . The illness gradually forced him to withdraw from the public. Since April 2014, he has been in a nursing home in Nashville ; he couldn't remember his career. Glen Campbell died in August 2017 at the age of 81.


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1968 Gentle on My Mind - - US5

(75 weeks)US
By the time I get to Phoenix - - US15th

(80 weeks)US
Grammy (Album of the Year)
Hey little one - - US26th

(51 weeks)US
A New Place in the Sun - - US24 (33 weeks)
Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell - UK50 (1 week)

(47 weeks)US
Chart entry in UK only in February 1970
with Bobbie Gentry
Wichita Lineman - - US1
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(46 weeks)US
1969 Galveston - - US2

(42 weeks)US
True grit - - US77 (12 weeks)
Instrumental soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein
for the film The Marshal
Theme song sung by Glen Campbell
1970 Try a little kindness - UK28 (11 weeks)

(28 weeks)US
Oh happy day - - US38 (19 weeks)
Norwood - - US90 (13 weeks)
Soundtrack, contains six songs by Al DeLory
The Glen Campbell Goodtime Album - UK16 (5 weeks)
US27 (21 weeks)
1971 The Last Time I Saw Her - - US87 (9 weeks)
1972 Anne Murray / Glen Campbell - - US128 (8 weeks)
1973 Glen Travis Campbell - - US148 (13 weeks)
I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star) - - US154 (6 weeks)
1974 Reunion (The Songs of Jimmy Webb) - - US166 (5 weeks)
1975 Rhinestone cowboy - UK38 (8 weeks)

(30 weeks)US
1976 Bloodline - - US63 (9 weeks)
1977 Southern Nights - UK51 (1 week)

(22 weeks)US
1978 basic - - US164 (5 weeks)
1981 It's the World Gone Crazy - - US178 (3 weeks)
2008 Meet Glen Campbell - UK54

(2 weeks)UK
US155 (1 week)
2011 Ghost on the canvas - UK27

(8 weeks)UK
US24 (4 weeks)
2013 See You There - UK35 (2 weeks)
US89 (1 week)
2017 Adiós - UK3

(19 weeks)UK
US40 (5 weeks)
2018 Sings for the King - UK84 (1 week)

Awards (selection)

year Org. Award title
1967 ACM Album of the Year Gentle on My Mind
1967 ACM Top male vocalist
1968 ACM Album of the Year Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry
1968 ACM Top male vocalist
1968 CMA Entertainer of the Year
1968 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year
1968 grammy Best Contemporary Male Solo Vocal Performance By the time I get to Phoenix
1968 grammy Best Country & Western Recording
1968 grammy Best Male Country & Western Vocal Performance
1968 grammy Best Male Vocal Performance By the time I get to Phoenix
1975 ACM Single of the year Rhinestone cowboy
1975 ACM Song of the Year Rhinestone cowboy
2015 grammy Best Country Song I'm not gonna miss you

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Commons : Glen Campbell  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "Rhinestone Cowboy": Country star Glen Campbell died at the age of 81 . dpa article on , August 8, 2017, accessed on August 9, 2017.
  2. Neal Umphred: Let's Go Away for Awhile In: Kingsley Abbott (ed.): The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson . Hannibal-Verlag, St. Andrä-Wölker 1998, ISBN 3-85445-160-1 .
  3. ^ Richard Younger: The Monument Years . Liner Notes for Arthur Alexander - The Monument Years (CD), Ace Records, 2001.
  4. Lineman For The County Lyrics ., accessed on August 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Sylvie Simmons: Glen Campbell, "Flyin in The Sun" . Mojo, December 2011, p. 58.
  6. Country singer: Glen Campbell is dead. In: Spiegel Online . August 9, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2018 .
  7. Country singer and actor Glen Campbell suffers from Alzheimer's., June 23, 2011, accessed August 9, 2017 .
  8. ^ Daniel Kreps: Glen Campbell Shares Poignant Last Music Video 'I'm Not Gonna Miss You'. In: Rolling Stone . October 12, 2014, accessed January 17, 2017 .
  9. Glen Campbell 'Rhinestone Cowboy' Singer Dead at 81 . TMZ, August 8, 2017, accessed on August 9, 2017.
  10. Chart sources: DE UK US
  11. ^ The Billboard Albums by Joel Whitburn , 6th Edition, Record Research 2006, ISBN 0-89820-166-7 .