The music world is still reeling following the death of singer and musician Glen Campbell at 81 this week. The legendary “Rhinestone Cowboy” as some affectionately called him passed away Tuesday (8/8) after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. In memoriam, here are five Glen Campbell classics that should be in every music fan’s library.
“Gentle On My Mind,” 1967: Written by John Hartford, the song won four Grammy Awards the year after its release including Best Folk Performance, “Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance (Male) and Best Country & Western Recording. Glen made it his own, of course, and it’s since garnered more than five million plays on the radio. Glen’s stellar musicianship is on full display at 1:25 below.
“Wichita Lineman,” 1968: Jimmy Webb wrote the song and Glenn was the first the record it. It topped the country chart and peaked at No. 3 on the pop chart, remaining on the all-genre Top 100 long after that. “Wichita Lineman” has since been included on Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
“By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” 1967: Another Jimmy Webb song Glen made famous and a two-time Grammy Award winner. The song was the third most-performed song from 1940-1990, according to BMI, and ranks 20th on the performing rights organization’s Top 100 Songs of the Century.
“Galveston,” 1969: Songwriter Jimmy Webb had no doubt become one of Glen’s favorites by the time the performer added this to his body of work. The work became another crossover hit for the superstar, and was perceived by some as being a Vietnam War protest song, though that’s been disputed at times by the songwriter.
“Rhinestone Cowboy,” 1975: Larry Weiss wrote the song Glen is arguably best known for and the recording features the legendary Los Angeles-based session players known the Wrecking Crew, of which Glen himself was a member in the early days of his career.
Glen recorded into late life, releasing his last full album in June. The aptly named Adiós was recorded in Nashville after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis between 2012 and 2013. Order copies here and here. Explore Glen’s experience with Alzheimer’s with insight from his personal physician courtesy of NBC’s Today here.
Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.