Video: A tribute to the ‘Wichita Lineman’
Glen Campbell lost his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease on Tuesday. But his music will live on.
The video tribute above, of Campbell’s hit Wichita Lineman, was performed by Gary Reed in 2015 at the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum in Morristown. Reed was backed by Carol Sharar on violin and Eric Jones on bass.
One of the most poignant evenings I’ve spent at the Mayo Performing Arts Center was Oct. 19, 2012, near the end of Campbell’s Goodbye Tour.
His illness was advancing. Lyrics got scrambled, the once-smooth voice contained some loose gravel, and the lightning fingers that made this sharecropper’s son a favorite session guitarist for Elvis, Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys now traversed the fretboard with greater deliberation.
Yet there were flashes of the old brilliance, and of the corny good humor that endeared him to audiences of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on TV.
Most impressive were his children, Ashley, Cal and Shannon, who provided his safety net, musically and personally, on the Mayo stage.
Ashley, in a podcast on MorristownGreen.com before that show, acknowledged plenty of anxious moments during the farewell tour. But she cherished her dad’s loving smile, and was overwhelmed by the public outpouring.
“Because of his bravery, and going through what he’s going through, people are showing up in droves to support him,” Ashley said. “It’s just amazing to see how much love and respect people have for him.”
That is how she hopes her father will be remembered, with lots of love.
“And hopefully,” Ashley continued, “he’ll still be inspiring people long after he’s gone — with his musicianship, and the way he treated others.”
R.I.P., Glen Campbell.