Musical palate cleanser, another Sixties icon departs edition

If you grew up in the Sixties, you heard this guy and often.

Glen Campbell, the sweet-voiced, guitar-picking son of a sharecropper who became a recording, television and movie star in the 1960s and ’70s, waged a publicized battle with alcohol and drugs and gave his last performances while in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, died on Tuesday in Nashville. He was 81.

Tim Plumley, his publicist, said the cause was Alzheimer’s.

There’s a lot going on in those two sentences.

Campbell was a self-taught musician who couldn’t read music, which is pretty amazing for a guy who first made his bones as a member of the legendary group of LA session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew.  He was a helluva guitarist, as this 2001 version of one of his big hits, “Galveston”, demonstrates.

As the article notes, he was a member of the Beach Boys for a few months in the mid-60s and toured with the group, which leads me to my favorite Campbell song, his first release.

Brian Wilson penned “Guess I’m Dumb” and worked on it with the Beach Boys, but never released it through the group.  Instead, he arranged and produced the song as Campbell’s first single.  Campbell is backed by his mates from The Wrecking Crew and purportedly the background singers are Beach Boys.

The result sounds like Brian Wilson channeling Burt Bacharach and it’s a great pop tune.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, another Sixties icon departs edition

  1. Aladawg

    I can remember my Mom loving her some Glen, watching his show when I was about 10. In my later years I’ve come to appreciate his guitar skills and his sweet voice. The Wichita Lineman always did things for me. RIP Glen.

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  2. Macallanlover

    Got to know him back in the late 80s and early 90s when we both played the same charity golf event and were paired together on two occasions. He had his struggles but was doing well during this period, a very decent man, and a solid golfer. We had one particular memory that was meaningful to both of us, and I regret not getting back in touch with him when the disease was in its earlier stage to revisit the story. It would have made him happy at a time he could have used that, and is a story I need to share with his wife/daughter.

    This is a horrible, awful disease as any who have been around it know, more research is needed to help find ways to avoid being vulnerable to it. He was an American icon who made numerous contributions to the entertainment industry, and will be missed. RIP Glenn.

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  3. Russ

    He was a great musician and entertainer. I was lucky enough to see him on his last tour and he still put on a wonderful show. One of the best guitarists out there.

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  4. Athens Dog

    Damn Senator……you rarely stump me on music, but I have zero recollection of this song. What a find!

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  5. PTC DAWG

    Thanks for this….good stuff as usual. May he R.I.P.

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  6. “Guess I’m Dumb” has been on my replay list for years now, since my brother told me about the song. And I’m a huge fan of Jimmy Webb, who wrote Wichita Lineman, Galveston, and many other great ones.

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  7. 69Dawg

    A very moving Viet Nam song for those of us old enough to remember. Rest in Peace Glenn.

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