Throwback Thursday: Glen Campbell Plays 'Gentle on My Mind'

Country Music sensation Glen Campbell passes on

Back in 2009, the legendary Glen Campbell joined Keith Urban onstage in Las Vegas, Nev., during Urban's Escape Together World Tour.

In his five-decade-long, acclaimed and much-awarded musical career, this sharecropper's son not only brought his genre into the mainstream, but also battled fame's temptations to remain true to the simpler, clean-cut but dislocated life his songs celebrated. The man could pick some gee-tar.

Other casinos the country music star played include the French Lick Resort Casino in IN, the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero, NM, and the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, CT.

Glen Campbell passed away this week at the age of 81.

Be it that the soothing, rhapsodical and nostalgic "Southern Nights" with its "Have you ever noticed southern skies?/Its precious beauty lies just beyond the eye/It goes running through your soul/Like the stories told of old/Old man/He and his dog that walked the old land/Ev'ry flower touched his cold hand/As he slowly walked by/Weeping willows/Would cry for joy...". So I got that, at least. But after watching the documentary about Campbell's early days with the Wrecking Crew, I figured I had to see "I'll Be Me".

In 1960, Campbell moved to Los Angeles where he had a regular job at a music company, where he was a song-writer and chipped in to record demos. Now, enjoy a few of those.

His performance of the title song from the 1969 film "True Grit", in which he played a Texas Ranger alongside Oscar victor John Wayne, received an Academy Award nomination. He was part of the house band for the ABC TV show "Shindig!" and a member of Phil Spector's "Wrecking Crew" studio band that played on hits by the Ronettes, the Righteous Brothers and the Crystals.

Campbell's expansive career included not only a string of country hits like "Wichita Lineman" and "Rhinestone Cowboy", but he was a session musician for a diverse list of artists including the Monkees, Frank Sinatra and Merle Haggard.

But his breakout success came in 1967 with the song Gentle on My Mind and his album By the Time I Get to Phoenix was named Album of the Year at the 1968 Grammy Awards. For years, the dreaded disease of Alzheimer's had been destroying Campbell's memory, body and soul. He later pleaded guilty to "extreme" DUI and leaving the scene of an accident and served a 10-day sentence.

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