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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why Glen Campbell Matters

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Tonight's your last chance ever to see Glen Campbell, and here's why you should care. From this week's Up & Comings:

(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) You might have visions of rhinestone cowboys dancing in your head, but no joke: Glen Campbell is the most accomplished guy in the room. As part of the legendary Wrecking Crew group of LA studio musicians, Campbell played guitar on countless hits through the '60s ("Strangers in the Night" and "Mary, Mary," to name just two). He sang uncredited lead vocal on the Sagittarius obscurity "My World Fell Down," now a fondly remembered Nuggets chestnut. He was a touring member of the Beach Boys during their heyday, taking over Brian Wilson's parts for the live show. He hosted his own TV show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and starred in movies like True Grit. Then there was Campbell's positively illustrious solo career, which tethered together pop and country for some truly excellent sides: "Gentle on My Mind," "Galveston," and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." But the biggest gem in the many-jeweled Campbell crown is 1968's "Wichita Lineman," simply one of the greatest pop singles ever recorded. Skirting the edges of pathos without quite dipping into schmaltz, the Jimmy Webb-penned tune is a gorgeous, surprisingly complex piece of music that Campbell nails perfectly. Now 76 years old, Campbell has sadly been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and this "Goodbye Tour" is exactly that—one last chance to see the man in one of his final performances ever. The chance to see the man who touched so many incredible, historic records should not be missed lightly. NED LANNAMANN

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