Joe Nichols on Glen Campbell: ‘He Did It All, and He Did It All Well’
Like many in the country music community, and the music world as a whole, Joe Nichols was saddened by Glen Campbell‘s death on Aug. 8. A fellow Arkansas native — Nichols grew up in Rogers, while Campbell spent his childhood a few hours south, in Delight — Nichols says the country icon “made us Arkansans very proud.”
“Everything I’ve seen Glen Campbell do, he’s done amazing, and I’ve always seen people even outside of the country genre blown away by him,” Nichols tells The Boot. “And so, I think that’s kind of what’s probably under-looked about Glen Campbell: Not only was he a great country singer and musician, but he was as good as anybody at any of those things … and well-respected beyond the genre.”
Campbell is perhaps best known as a country artist, but he also earned crossover success and worked as a session musician. Whether fans know it or not, Campbell left his mark on myriad songs in the 1960s, before and as he was starting his solo career.
“It’s kind of hard to quantify with him, because some guys have this niche, or some guys have that niche, but he kind of did it all, and he did it all well,” Nichols reflects. “He was one of the greatest all-around country musicians, singers, we’ve ever had, on pure talent … He transcends country music. He’s one of those rare talents that comes along that could probably choose anywhere and be successful.”
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Nichols only met Campbell once — in the early 2000s, at an ACM Awards event, he believes — and it was “very brief” but “really, really cool.”
“He was a super-nice guy. That was one of the things that I was always fond of with him, is that his spirit always seemed happy, funny, witty … There was always kind of a fun feeling with him,” Nichols says. “That’s a true bright spirit right there … That’s pretty great; that’s pretty rare.”
In June of 2011, Campbell announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, after experiencing short-term memory loss for several years; the disease continued to rob him of his memories until his death. During his lifetime, Campbell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and won a number of major awards, including numerous Grammy Awards and Grammy Hall of Fame honors, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, two CMA Awards (including Entertainer of the Year), a number of ACM Awards and many more. His final album, Adios, was released in June.
Campbell was buried in his hometown on Wednesday (Aug. 9) in a private service.
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