Glen Campbell & The Wichita Lineman
Was reading the paper on Sunday morning and the weekend section had a nice article on Glen Campbell highlighting the fact that, at 75 years old, the famed singer was embarking on a “farewell” tour due to his recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It was a wonderful article detailing his fame, his struggle with alcohol and drugs, and even his relationship with God!
I remember my parents getting Campbell’s Galveston album in the early 1970’s and I played that record non-stop. Over the years I’ve been a minor Glen Campbell fan and enjoyed tunes like the Galveston, Rhinestone Cowboy, and Southern Nights. I even read his biography at one point.
Probably one of my favorite songs ever though is Wichita Lineman which was made famous by Campbell but has been covered many, many times since. I find the song hauntingly beautiful. So many love songs today deal with young or “upper class” love. Wichita Lineman is just a great blue-collar ballad about a county telephone man who is working hard and is dreaming about his lady. Even the fact that the song roots itself in Wichita gives it the resonance of a time gone by… in an America that once was.
Anyhow, it’s very sad to see Campbell’s diagnosis with Alzeimer’s. Even during the article Campbell would lose track of where they were in the interview. Admittedly part of the reason they made the diagnosis public was so that fans coming to see his farewell tour would be understanding when he occasionally flubbed a line.
I think his fans will love him just the same. I only wish his tour included a trip to Hong Kong as an opportunity to see Glen Campbell is one I would not miss.
BTW, I include some You Tube clips I thought were great. An early Campbell performing Wichita Lineman and then a cover done by REM which I thought was fantastic. The last clip is the official video for his single off his last studio album Ghost on the Canvas. Is it just me or is this guy still able to nail it??
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