Glen Travis Campbell

First a fan from his 12 String Guitar albums in the mid-‘60’s, Glen’s renown as a picker preceded his singing success by several years. What he could do with those magic fingers made me want to practice harder. As part of Hollywood’s historic Wrecking Crew, he played on others’ hits (over 580 recordings) – until he sang.

The nascent Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ended up on this Goodtime Hour (1970), and he kindly joined us on guitar on Randy Lynn Rag. We crossed paths many road times. The always-cordial Campbell was a confident star, grateful that people wanted to hear his music, hear him sing. Willie Nelson’s first Farm Aid in 1985 put us together on the same show again; he brought his pop status out to the 85,000 rock and hippie audience and took over. His music reached everyone. Glen’s fun in playing music was contagious. His smile hit the back of the room. His guitar was.. well, was “impickable.”

Glen was a rare genuine American music icon, and people’s lives were better for him being here. His three-minute hits would take people to a better space for most of the day, and give them something to look forward to in their minds. You WERE the Wichita Lineman, that cowboy, and yes Glen, you are not shackled anymore; you are on the path that is free to walk – You will forever be in the rivers of our memories and gentle on our minds.

Thank you Glen, for being so good.

John McEuen
nitty gritty dirt band, composer, banjo player



Hits for the clean-cut crossover star included “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Gentle on My Mind” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Glen Campbell, the boyish singer-guitarist whose perfect blend of country and pop made for such hits as “Gentle on My Mind,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” died Tuesday (Aug. 8) after struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for years, a rep confirmed to Billboard. He was 81.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease,” reads a statement from the family.

“Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the donation page. A personal statement from Kim Campbell will follow. The family appreciates your prayers and respect for their privacy at this time.”

Campbell announced he was ill in June 2011 and was moved to a private care facility for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients near Nashville in April 2014.

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