If you aren't aware Glen Campbell was part of the elite LA group of studio musicians known as the "Wrecking Crew" who played on the greatest pop and rock recordings made there durin gthe 1960's. That's Glen late in the decade with legendary Crew drummer Hal Blaine. Glen was part of this group from the early 60's until his own hit records Am I sure he was on the records I mention? Well, the Musicians' Union contracts are pretty much smoking guns, as they show who was hired and paid.
Me: I heard something you did over 30 years ago, a record with Tex Williams at the Mint in Las Vegas . . . you let rip with a real hot solo.
Glen: “My Window Faces the South!” That was the early sixties. What was Roger Miller’s line? “I don’t think I’m half as good as I really am.”
I interviewed Glen Campbell just once, in 1995, for Country Music Magazine's "20 Questions With" feature, not unlike Trish Sheridan's old "Breakfast With" PG feature. I thought back to an old record I had, recorded nearly a decade before Glen became a star, in the days he was an obscure LA sideman. I wasn't sure he'd remember it, but I thought, what the hell? And I got my answer--spot on. The rest of the interview was terrific as he talked about the changing country music industry, which he didn't care for. He couldn't contain his pride over his days as part of the loose group of elite LA session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, which included Leon Russell, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco and Carol Kaye.who worked with everyone from the Byrds to Sinatra. His memory then was impregnable.
After Glen Campbell's 2011 Alzheimer's diagnosis, his gifts as as a singer and guitarist remained sufficiently intact for a farewell tour and a final studio album. Around the time he was diagnosed, wife Kim Campbell and Carl Jackson, banjoist in Campbell's earlier touring band, brought him into a Nashville studio to record what everyone know would be his final album. It wasn't always easy. Jackson had to have song lyrics written in large print so Campbell could sing them, portending the aids (teleprompters, etc.) he'd need to get through that final tour.
Since his 2011 Alzheimer's diagnosis, the world has followed Glen Campbell's final moments as a professional musician on his Farewell Tours, a well-received documentary and a constant stream of media stories of his continuing decline. Out of the public eye now, in a Nashville facility for Alzheimer's patients but near family, work has continued on what will be his final album: Adios, to be released by Universal Music on June 9.
My review of Alison Krauss's "Windy City," a collection of classic Nashville country (and pop-country) covers.
In a devastating year for music deaths, it's painful to add Leon Russell's name to the growing list. Russell, who died in his sleep at his Nashville home Saturday at 74, was a singer, pianist, arranger, guitarist, vocalist, studio musician and record company owner, known as the Master of Space And Time. He'd battled health problems over the past several years and suffered a heart attack in July.
A post-RCA Victor LP for Warner Brothers
John D. Loudermilk was truly a Great American songwriter, albeit one whose songs were known to the public but whose name was not. The 82 year old died Wednesday at his Tennessee home of bone cancer. While many who knew him associated him with country music, and both hard country and country-pop singers recording his songs, the videos reveal they transcended any specific genre.
Today, he's a veteran rock icon, dubbed "The Master of Space And Time," known for his many solo recordings (and a 2010 collaboration with Elton John), his early 70's work with the late Joe Cocker and half of the late 60's duo Asylum Choir with Marc Benno. Earlier in the decade after moving to Hollywood, he became part of the elite group of studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew (with Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine and others) playing on countless 60's rock, country and pop records including Campbell's "Gentle On My Mind" and The Beach Boys' "California Girls."
Before all that, this is who he was. And take special note of the final track: Russell as jazzman.
There's not much to add about Allen Toussaint, the New Orleans singer, pianist, composer and arranger who died Tuesday of a heart attack in Madrid, Spain at age 77 while touring Europe He emerged from the New Orleans R&B scene as a talent in his own right, with a series of original songs that became standards of the New Orleans sound—and well beyond. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, in 2013 he received the National Medal of the Arts from President Obama. Here are a few of his hit songs, and some performances by the man himself.
Last night, CNN showed the 2014 documentary Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a chronicle of his farewell tour, scheduled in the wake of his 2012 public announcement he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The network acquired the broadcast rights to run it this month and again in November. It will also be available as a digital download and the DVD will be out September 1.