Glen Travis Campbell (April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017) was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor.Born Glen Travis Campbell, his father was a sharecropper and Glen was his seventh son, making him the seventh son of a seventh son. He learned to play music on a five-dollar guitar he received from his father, taking lessons from an uncle. His family moved to
Houston when he was an adolescent and from there, he moved to Albuquerque to join his uncle's band, Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys, later forming his own group, the Western Wranglers.
In 1960, Campbell moved to Los Angeles to become a session musician. That October, he joined the Champs. By January 1961, Campbell had found a daytime job at publishing company American Music, writing songs and recording demos. Because of these demos Campbell soon was in demand as a session musician and became part of a group of studio musicians later known as the Wrecking Crew. Campbell played on recordings by the Beach Boys, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, the Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Frank Sinatra, Ronnie Dove, Phil Spector and Elvis Presley.
In May 1961, he left the Champs and was subsequently signed by Crest Records, a subsidiary of American Music. His first solo release, "Turn Around, Look at Me", a moderate success, peaked at number 62 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. Campbell also formed the Gee Cees with former bandmembers from the Champs, performing at the Crossbow Inn in Van Nuys. The Gee Cees, too, released a single on Crest, the instrumental "Buzz Saw", which did not chart.
In 1962, Campbell signed with Capitol Records. After minor initial success with "Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry", his first single for the label, and "Kentucky Means Paradise", released by the Green River Boys featuring Glen Campbell, a string of unsuccessful singles and albums followed. By 1963 his playing and singing were heard on 586 recorded songs. He never learned to read music, but besides guitar, he could play the banjo, mandolin and bass.
From 1964 on, Campbell began to appear on television as a regular on Star Route, a syndicated series hosted by Rod Cameron, ABC's Shindig!, and Hollywood Jamboree. From December 1964 to early March 1965, Campbell was a touring member of the Beach Boys, filling in for Brian Wilson, playing bass guitar and singing falsetto harmonies.
He first solo hit was 1967's 'Gentle on My Mind' which was a minor success upon its first release. The song was followed by the bigger hit "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" later in 1967, and "I Wanna Live" and "Wichita Lineman" in 1968, remaining on Billboard's Top 100 charts for 15 weeks. He won four Grammy Awards for "Gentle on My Mind" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix". Later that year, he was a television star as well, starring in 'The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour' on CBS, which ran for three years.
In 1969, he hit the big screen as a co-star in the John Wayne film 'True Grit'. His songs hit the charts regularly, though seldom becoming big hits. He finally had a resurgence in the mid-'70s with 'Rhinestone Cowboy', one of the biggest hits of 1975, and 'Southern Nights', a remake of an Allen Toussaint song. Campbell began having problems with alcoholism and cocaine addiction in the 1970s. Campbell credited his fourth wife Kim with helping him turn his life around. Campbell eventually stopped drinking alcohol and taking drugs in 1987 but relapsed in 2003.
In 2011, he announced he had Alzheimer's Disease and despite the diagnosis, he released an album, 'Ghost on the Canvas' to positive reviews, and followed it with a tour. He earned several awards, including a lifetime honour from the Grammys. Later, he was featured in the documentary, 'Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me'. A song from the movie, 'I'm Not Gonna Miss You', was nominated for an Oscar.
He became a patient at an Alzheimer's long-term care and treatment facility in 2014. Glen died in Nashville, Tennessee on August 8, 2017 at the age of 81 and was buried in the Campbell family cemetery at Billstown, Arkansas.
In April 2017, Campbell's final album, Adiós, was announced, featuring twelve songs from his final 2012–13 sessions. The album was released on June 9, 2017. Adios was named by the UK's Official Charts Company as the best-selling country/Americana album of 2017 in Britain.
(Compiled and edited from various sources mainly Wikipedia)