Hits for the clean-cut crossover star included ‘Gentle on My Mind,’ ‘Rhinestone Cowboy,’ ‘Wichita Lineman’ and ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’
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,” has died after struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for years. He was 81.
Campbell’s official website announced the news of the Country Music Hall of Famer’s death on Tuesday (Aug. 8).
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.
In addition to “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” Campbell scored with yet another Jimmy Webb penned hit, “Galveston. ” His renditions of Larry Weiss’ “Rhinestone Cowboy” and Allen Toussaint’s “Southern Nights” each made it to No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts.
In paving a path for other successful country crossover artists, Campbell released more than 70 albums — selling 45 million and accumulating 12 gold, four platinum and one double-platinum album — during his half-century in show business. He collected five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year in 1968 for By the Time I Get to Phoenix, and was the recipient of the organization’s Lifetime Achievement honor in 2012..
“He had that beautiful tenor with a crystal-clear guitar sound, playing lines that were so inventive,” Tom Petty once told Rolling Stone magazine. “It moved me.”
From 1969-72, the Delight, Ark., native hosted the CBS variety show The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and he starred as young Texas Ranger La Boeuf in True Grit (1969) after being handpicked by John Wayne to star opposite him in the Hollywood icon’s lone Oscar-winning role. Campbell also sang the Oscar-nominated title track, composed and written by Elmer Bernstein and Don Black.
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