RHINESTONE COWBOY'S LAST RIDE
As I was driving the other day listening to the radio, a song came up on the radio that I was unfamiliar with. It sounded like a familiar ballad, but I was sure that I’d never heard it. It was very simple with lots of strings.
It wasn’t something I would normally like, but it somehow grabbed me. The singer sang with ease and age. The track ended and the DJ came on to say it was a new song from Glen Campbell called “Ghost on the Canvas.”
Earlier this year, Glen Campbell announced that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This was truly a tragic diagnosis. With this news came the inevitable: a final album and a final tour.
Admittedly, I don’t know if I ever fully appreciated Glen Campbell as much as I should have until this news came out. I know he was one of the artists my grandparents liked… and that’s where most of my thoughts about Campbell ended.
As I began to delve into his back catalogue, I began to admire him. While he might not have been the type of artist I typically keep in my rotation, I respected him for his consistency. When I listened to tracks like “Rhinestone Cowboy” or “Galveston,” I could imagine them fitting in perfectly still with his latest and final release.
In an industry that demands artists reinvent themselves to stay relevant, Campbell has kept playing the music he likes in the way he wants to play it. That’s a great thing. Campbell’s pure and relatable voice should be used the way he used it.
For his final album, he could have easily made it a sentimental, stripped down and reflective work (which would be acceptable and predicted by most). Instead, he delivers a work with the upbeat ballad sound that made his career. Even in his time of struggle, Campbell keeps on doing what he loves. That’s something to admire.