Glen Campbell is Suffering From Alzheimer’s – 5 Songs From His Musical Atlas [VIDEOS]
With the sad news today that country crossover artist Glen Campbell has Alzheimer's, I was reminiscing about some of my favorite songs of his, and realized, they're all about places. There's something about a song that can capture the spirit of a particular city, state or whole region. And I've found 5 of Glen Campbell's songs that do just that.
The small town boy who's left the hills, dales and pastures of home for the pursuit of stardom in Hollywood is a pretty common theme in music- think Smokey Mountain Rain's "I thumbed my way from LA back to Knoxville...." Glen sings of the melancholy of disillusioned dreams as well as any of them.
Thinking about the vast universe of songs about Texas, most recall the cowboy life of West Texas. There are relatively few about the cities and resorts of Texas's Gulf coast, Jimmy Buffett's "Who's the Blonde Stranger" is another one.
Jimmy Webb wrote this one back '65. There's a quaintness about 'By The Time I Get to Phoenix' with two lovers who can't connect due to missed phone calls. With cell phones and Facebook, the protagonist in the song wouldn't have the same excuses today for not getting in touch with the girl left behind in somewhere west of Phoenix.
Wichita Lineman is another poingent Jimmy Webb song that Glen took to the top of the charts. The song describes the loneliness of a telephone line repair worker whose solitary job keeps him from any human companionship, especially that of his absent lover.
Southern Nights is another of Campbell's massive crossover hits. New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint wrote this one about his native Louisiana backwoods. But the song is so good I can hear it and think of anywhere in the southern US where a warm breeze rustles the leaves in a strand of live oaks while bright moonlight breaks though the branches overhead.