We all felt that familiar twinge in our hearts when we received the recent update that Glen Campbell’s health had deteriorated even further. The country music icon is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, but the family has handled his decline quietly and gracefully, allowing the singer-songwriter his dignity.
Their difficult reality was delivered a precious gift, though, when the National Guitar Museum recently honored Glen with their annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Glen’s wife, Kim, accepted on his behalf.
According to the organization’s website, Kim said, “Glen’s dream as a young man was to be a jazz guitarist like his hero, Django Reinhardt. His years working with The Wrecking Crew developed him into one of the most versatile guitarists of all time instead.”
She also said that his playing “inspired countless guitarists and will continue to do so as new generations discover his contributions to the canon of popular music.”
Keith Urban has often mentioned the influence Glen had on his career. And he, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley and Toby Keith even performed a medley of Glen’s hits at last year’s ACM Honors.
But in 2009, a couple of years before Glen was diagnosed with the debilitating disease, he joined the Aussie onstage at Keith’s Las Vegas tour stop. From the stage, Glen told the story of meeting Keith for the first time when the latter was just a young man. He even remembered the advice he offered his protege: “Practice. And learn your trade.”
Now that’s good advice for anyone.