Yes, and it sure made my heart feel good, too, seeing Glen Campbell on the Grammy Awards last week. His appearance and performance on the show was one of many reasons why most folks are saying that it was one of the best Grammy telecasts ever … and yes, I am one of them.
Most of you know that Campbell had hit after hit in both the pop and country charts in the 1960s and ’70s with By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Wichita Lineman and Galveston among the first. All three songs were written by the legendary Jimmy Webb, the guy also to blame for inexplicably leaving that damn cake “out in the rain” in his composition MacArthur Park.
Before the hits started rolling in, Campbell was known as a top-notch session guitar player in Los Angeles. His tasty licks are featured on Surf City (Jan and Dean), Strangers in the Night (Frank Sinatra), Everybody Loves Somebody (Dean Martin) and even several hits by The Monkees. Yes, that’s Campbell on Mary Mary and Sweet Young Thing.
Campbell (whose main influence as a youngster was guitarist Django Reinhardt) was also a featured guitarist on a slew of Beach Boys hits that included Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, I Get Around and several tracks from their legendary Pet Sounds album. Campbell, who replaced head Beach Boy Brian Wilson on the road for a few months in 1964 and ’65, remains good friends with him to this day.
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Campbell enjoyed further success with his television series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour that aired for a few seasons. Curiously, Campbell was not the featured guitarist on his only two No. 1 hits Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights, as his good friends Dean Parks and Jerry When You’re Hot, You’re Hot Reed handled the lead guitar duties respectively on those two smash chart toppers.
Unfortunately, Campbell, now 75, is suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, which is forcing him to quit performing. He is now on a “Goodbye Tour” with three of his eight children serving as their father’s backing musicians.
As we go to press, the closest date to Augusta is a March 25 show in Jacksonville, Fla. Hmmm … just maybe one day Jimmy Webb will write a song for Campbell about that great Florida city.
LAST WEEK’S Contest Winner is Ky Widener, who will enjoy dinner for four from Momma Mia’s Italian Restaurant on Broad Street. Try the new pizza pies at Momma Mia’s!
TURNER’S QUICK NOTES: Former Youngbloods leader Jesse Colin Young headlines Aiken Prep’s second annual “Prep Fest” March 3 at the school soccer field. Tickets are available at prepfest.org … It must be global warming: The Eagles return yet again May 4 to Atlanta’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre … George Harrison fans should check out the new app that gives stunning 360-degree views of his breathtaking guitar collection. Most appropriately for a Beatle, it’s only at the Apple Store!