Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Cowboy down - but not forgotten

In common with so many others, I was gutted to hear last night that Glen Campbell had passed away.

Like most people my age growing up in a Terry Wogan-listening household, Rhinestone Cowboy formed a large part of my early childhood soundtrack.

After a long gap, Glen Campbell returned to my world in 2011 after revealing that he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

He released what was intended to be his farewell studio album, Ghost on the Canvas, shortly afterwards and I listened to it constantly.   It was - and remains -  both poignant and brilliant.

Then, in 2013, my friend Mags passed away.  And, for whatever reason, I began listening to lots of Glen Campbell songs once more.

That was when I rediscovered such classics as Galveston, and also Wichita Lineman which featured on my Non-Stop Oldies a few weeks ago.

Fans of the great man will know that the release of Ghost on the Canvas also coincided with the announcement of his final tour.  What happened next is captured magnificently - and starkly - in the documentary movie, Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, which is often shown on Sky Arts, is available On Demand and is a must watch.  Be warned, you may need something strong in a glass and a box of tissues to last the distance.

Two songs in that film stick out.

The first is I'm Not Gonna Miss You, dedicated to his wife, which refers to the fact that he wouldn't miss her when the end was near as his memory would've gone by then.  Logical when you think about it.

The other was Gentle on My Mind which is heard throughout the movie as the song he began each gig with on that tour.

You might not think you know it, but you will.

What a loss.  What a performer.

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