Its time for a little bit of (recent) musical history this week. A couple of nights ago, I watched a programme on BBC Four about the life & musical career of Glen Campbell. The name might not mean anything to any of you, it didn’t mean anything to me either at first. Luckily I stayed on the channel anyway and kept watching, and I’m definitely glad that I did.
I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a house where anything goes music wise. That means I’ve been hearing everything from the Rat Pack, to The Clash, to MC Hammer, to Horslips, ever since I can remember. All of these different musical influences meant that I’ve always been open to listening to pretty much anything, and it turned out that I actually knew more about Glen Campbell’s music than I thought.
A country musician at heart, Glen Campbell came from very humble beginnings. However, thanks to his talents, he was not only the lead guitarist on Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers In The Night,” but also on Elvis’ huge hit “Viva Las Vegas.” Bearing in mind that this was just in his days as a session musician! Campbell was also a touring member of the Beach Boys between December 1964 and March 1965. He filled in for original Beach Boy Brian Wilson, which was no small task.
Glen Campbell also had huge success as a solo artist, his biggest hits including “Witchita Lineman,” “Southern Nights,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.” All of these songs went to Number 1 in the US and between 1967 – 2012, Glen received no less than 9 Grammy Awards, including 3 Hall Of Fame Awards. In 2012, he was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, which is undoubtedly well-deserved. Despite having Alzheimer’s, Glen has continued to tour right up until this year, at no less than 77 years of age. He even plans to release another album in the coming months.
Clearly a man of great talent, grit and love for music, Glen Campbell is one of the real legends of music, and not just of country music. You may read this article and think why did I bother? However, I’ve always emphasised the importance of knowing where music came from. So if you do take the time to listen to some of Glen’s music, I really believe you won’t be disappointed.
- Having spent the last few days listening to some of Glen Campbell’s songs, here’s my favourite if you do want to check him out;