Glen Campbell R.I.P.


thanks to Mark Moscatello

That was Glen Campbell’s early hit, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, one of my Glen Campbell favorites. I had a little change in plans. Ordinarily I leave rock music and other modern music to others of my generation. While I grew up with rock music as well, one of my earliest childhood pleasures was finding and playing great old records.

I had other plans for today, but I want to remember Glen Campbell as the extraordinary talent that he was and should be remembered. He died this past week from Alzheimer’s disease, which ended his career in 2011. He was a studio musician and an extraordinary guitar player. He had rock and roll hits, country hits. he filled in for other musicians in early years.

Photo Credit:  Kurt Markus, Glen Campbell Forums.

I also discovered that we were both fans of a another great musician, from way back when. Like many others, I remember when I first heard Django Reinhardt. I couldn’t believe my ears. Glen Campbell was also a Django fan. He said Django Reinhardt was the greatest guitarist ever. Above is a painting of Django hanging wall next to his piano behind Glen Campbell and his wife Kim. So, in memory of Glen Campbell, R.I.P. let’s also hear Django with his Minor Swing.

Thanks to hann

When Django and Stephane Grappelli began their careers, they were told to forget it. Guitars and fiddles weren’t jazz. Jazz was played on woodwinds and horns, according to the French record producers.   Eventually, they got a recording contract.  They achieved world wide fame.  Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins, among others, recorded with them and claimed that Django and Stephane’s group were some real “hep cats.”

Meanwhile, Don Brown, my mentor and source for old jazz records, was at the same time sweeping out the store in a western Illinois record store and was paid in records the store owner couldn’t sell. Among the “Hillibilly” records, Don found were Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli records. Hillbilly records! These were jazz. But the record store owner couldn’t sell jazz records either, so Don kept them and his mouth shut. People often times pass up the gold  looking for diamonds.

Glen Campbell played and sang wherever there was work to be had. He was a great musician whose music also transcended the labels in the record store bins and the tight radio station play lists. He was an extraordinary talent and he has been missed in this past decade.  Glen Campbell, R.I.P.

Update:  Changes in edits and credits.  Fixed.


About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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