PhotoL-R:Shannon Campbell, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith and Ashley Campbell performing at the 10th Annual ACM Honors in tribute to Glen Campbell. Photo Credit: Getty Images/John Shearer/Courtesy of the Academy of Country Music)
Pioneering music legend Glen Campbell was honored at the 10th Annual ACM Honors with the Career Achievement Award and a star-studded tribute featuring Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban performing some of the Pike County native's most beloved songs. Hosted by the Academy of Country Music, the two-hour special taped August 30 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
In a riveting performance, four of music's biggest stars – Bentley, Keith, Shelton and Urban, – joined by Campbell's son Shannon Campbell on guitar and daughter Ashley Campbell on banjo, took the stage together to perform an all-star medley consisting of several of Campbell's biggest hits, "Southern Nights," "Gentle On My Mind," "Wichita Linemen," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" and the iconic "Rhinestone Cowboy." Following the tribute, Campbell's wife of 35 years Kim Campbell accepted the Career Achievement Award on behalf of Campbell who retired in 2013 after announcing he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The prestigious award is given to artists who have advanced the popularity of country music through their endeavors in the entertainment industry in multiple areas.
"From Arkansas to the Wrecking Crew … he was a flatpicking country boy that became a superstar and icon," said Toby Keith of his musical idol. "It's almost like he had no idea how good he was; everybody knew how good Glen Campbell was."
"Glen has been a real influence for me," Keith Urban told USA Today before the performance. "His guitar playing, his singing. We always talk about pop country and what's going on, but you look at someone like Glen Campbell and what he did with 'The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour' … blending and fusing and collaborating with a myriad of people. He really was light-years ahead of his time."
In a legendary career that spanned more than six decades, Glen Campbell created an indelible mark on American pop culture as a beloved musician, singer, movie star and television personality. Before retiring from the studio and stage in 2013, after half a century of recording and touring, Campbell released more than 70 albums, sold nearly 50 million records and achieved multiple chart-topping, multi-platinum-selling success in the arenas of pop and country music. Testament to his widespread appeal, a total of 80 of his songs charted on the Billboard Hot 100, Country Chart and Adult Contemporary Chart with 29 Top 10 singles across multiple genres.
As a member of the celebrated Wrecking Crew he helped shape Phil Spector's famed "Wall of Sound" and The Beach Boys' most creative works (even becoming a touring member for a stretch when Brian Wilson first retired from the road in 1964). He played on the Beach Boys' landmark album, Pet Sounds, Frank Sinatra's "Strangers In The Nights," the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and the Monkees' "I'm a Believer," as well as songs by Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Lou Rawls, Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard and Bobby Vee. In the year 1963 alone he played on an astounding 586 sessions.
Campbell's musical and entertainment lifetime, covering over six decades, is unmatched for its prolific breadth, popular appeal – and flat-out musical accomplishment and achievement. His biggest run of hits ("Gentle on My Mind," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Southern Nights" just to name a handful) put him in the pop elite of the '60s and '70s, erasing the line between pop and country and helping pave the way for generations of others.
Campbell's striking good-looks and country charm made him an instant television success with his variety series, "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour." Seen in millions of homes across the U.S. for more than three seasons, Glen Campbell, who was born in Billstown near Delight as the seventh of 12 children to a sharecropper, became a household name and a true entertainment superstar. The show was also broadcast internationally, introducing him to an even wider audience. Campbell had multiple worldwide hits.
In 2011, Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at age 75. Undeterred, he embarked on a series of live dates that he dubbed "The Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour." Campbell was joined by a film crew, led by filmmaker James Keach, who followed the troubadour on his final concert tour as he navigated the disease. What was expected to be a short five week tour instead went for 151 sold out shows over a year and a half. The resulting documentary, "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me," was released to widespread critical acclaim in the fall of 2014, including an emotional showing with his family at Hempstead Hall in Hope. The film's soundtrack, released in February 2015, included Campbell's farewell single, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," which took home the Grammy for Best Country Song in 2015, a remarkable forty-eight years after he won his first Grammy award.
Glen Campbell, currently in late stage 6 Alzheimer's, lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is surrounded by his family and getting the very best of care.
Special Thanks to Saratoga Ark Digest