Two For Tuesday: Glen Campbell (Encore)

Two For Tuesday is the longest-running feature on The Sound of One Hand Typing, starting six years ago today, as a matter of fact. I thought it might be good to go back through some of the earlier ones (before many of you were reading the blog) and replay some of my favorites.

I wrote this back on September 25, 2012, when I heard that Glen Campbell had completed his last tour and last album. We lost Glen last August.

I had a feeling to feature Glen Campbell this week, and went out to YouTube and picked up a couple of videos, then went to his website to research him. I was surprised to see that he finished his Farewell Tour and released his last studio album, Ghost on the Canvas. I had forgotten that he announced last year that he was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Chances are good that you know someone, either a relative, a friend, or the relative of a friend, who has this terrible disease, or have a friend that is the caretaker for someone who does. The Alzheimer’s Association has some figures: 5.4 million Americans are living with it; one in eight senior citizens in the US have it; 15 million Americans are providing unpaid care worth an estimated $210 billion; payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion this year alone. It’s the sixth leading cause of death in this country. I don’t have figures for the rest of the world, but I can only guess that the problem is just as severe. There are drugs that can help a person live with the disease with some lucidity, but ultimately the disease destroys the brain. My brother’s father-in-law died from it a couple of years ago, and it really took its toll on the family. We can only pray and hope and donate to the organizations that are seeking a cure. If you know someone who has it, my prayers and thoughts are with you.


The first song here is one of his early hits, and one of my favorite songs, “Wichita Lineman.” Written by Jimmy Webb, it was recorded by Glen in 1968, and appeared on the album of the same name. It reached #3 on the pop charts and remained in the Top 100 for fifteen weeks. The BBC called it “one of those rare songs that seems somehow to exist in a world of its own – not just timeless but ultimately outside of modern music.” Rolling Stone ranked it at #192 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This performance was taken from “The Smothers Brothers Show”; Glen soon had a show of his own on Sunday nights. As someone learning to play the guitar at the time, it was practically required viewing. The second song, “A Better Place,” is from Ghost on the Canvas. I dare you to get through it without tears.

God bless and keep Glen Campbell, your Two for Tuesday for September 25, 2012.

14 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Glen Campbell (Encore)

  1. Aww, I miss Glen Campbell – such a great talent. We saw him at Chastain Park a few years ago. He performed beautifully but when he spoke he showed signs of forgetfulness.


    1. He was diagnosed in 2012, but was starting to slip well before that. Alice Cooper (who, believe it or not, was a very good friend) said they’d go out and play golf, and every third hole he’d tell the same story. It’s really very sad. Interesting thing, though: even when he didn’t know anyone around him or where he was, he could still play guitar…

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  2. Galveston was one of the first pop tunes I got sheet music for as a kid. Campbell played on many of the early Monkees sessions, among many others. Great guitarist and vocalist, and always seemed like a nice guy.


  3. Hi John – he had an amazing voice … and I’ll always enjoy listening to him … have a peaceful day tomorrow … cheers Hilary


  4. Aw, this touched my heart today. It would’ve been my mom’s 77th birthday. She died from Vascular Dementia in 2012. She loved Glen Campbell’s music and would’ve enjoyed reading your post and would thank you for sharing the stats on Alzheimer’s – we truly need to keep spreading the word and find a cure! xx


    1. Those stats were as of 2012, but I can’t imagine they’ve gotten any better. Some diseases are baffling: various forms of cancer, AIDS, ALS, and dementia in all its forms. They can treat the symptoms, but a cure seems out of their reach. We can hope and pray and support the organizations that support the researchers looking for cures. It takes time, and we mustn’t give up hope.


  5. It’s not often that I have a clear memory of someone beginning their career, hitting the peak and passing away. He was a great talent.


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