Radiohead Covers Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy"

Henrietta Brewer
August 9, 2017

Dolly Parton paid tribute to Glen Campbell, a fellow country music artist, on Twitter Tuesday.

The statement confirmed that he had died "following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease" and noted that fans could donate to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation in his memory via his donation page.

Mayer played Campbell's hit, "Gentle On My Mind", which was recorded in 1967.

That dichotomy was also explored in his everlasting hit, "Rhinestone Cowboy", which Campbell later said he felt was something of a personal anthem.

His struggles to continue performing and recording after the diagnosis was the subject of an award-winning 2014 documentary called "Glen Campbell.I'll Be Me". Maybe that's tied into how he could pick the hell out of any tune, finding the key phrases and melodies to spin off into solos, but he also zeroed into the core of songs that sometimes seemed evasive.

Campbell filled in for Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys when the latter had a breakdown.

If one man was responsible for country music's transformation into an all-conquering wing of the entertainment industry, it was Glen Campbell. Years later, Campbell mentioned it in his own concerts. Webb's baroque rhymes and complicated melodies could sometimes bog down a singer (Richard Harris couldn't help but turn "MacArthur Park" into turgid camp in 1968) but Glen's light touch sold Jimmy's eccentricities while retaining their otherworldly essence. Glen is one of the greatest voices that ever was in the business and he was one of the greatest musicians. "You got it", Campbell said. Campbell continued to release new music and tour even after announcing he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

In his five-decade-long, acclaimed and much-awarded musical career, this sharecropper's son not only brought his genre into the mainstream, but also battled fame's temptations to remain true to the simpler, clean-cut but dislocated life his songs celebrated. But Campbell's version was inescapably accessible, plus it but a put a few well-earned royalty checks in Toussaint's mailbox.

In 2003, the then 67-year-old Campbell crashed his BMW in Phoenix, Arizona, but left the scene before police came.

Campbell married four times and fathered eight children.

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