Exploring new ways of seeing, new ways of being with an open heart and an open mind
Friday, August 26, 2011
Ghost on the Canvas
Last night, I watched a video of Glen Campbell and his wife of almost thirty years, Kim Woolen, as they talked about his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Apparently, the symptoms had been coming on for awhile. Glen said he didn't feel any different, didn't notice anything, but it was obvious his wife had, and they were dealing with it. Watching this made me sad, but because Glen himself seemed unfazed, for the most part, I felt a deep sense of joy, also. This man, whose music I've loved for over forty years (don't you just love that blue guitar?), has a new album and a new tour, and, along with it, there's a renewed interest in and understanding of what he's brought to our world.
His catalog is filled to overflowing with great songs, timeless classics. He was blessed with some of the greatest songwriters of our time, John Hartford and Jimmy Webb, to name two. I name John, especially, because he wrote one of my favorite Glen songs, Gentle on my Mind. I never get tired of hearing it. Other favorites include By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Galveston, Try a Little Kindness (what a great bit of musical advice that is), The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, and, of course, Wichita Lineman.
This man came on the scene in the 1960's, stayed around quite awhile, got himself into a bit of trouble in the relationship category, fueled by alcohol and other drugs, and then met his current wife, Kim, one of those people who sometimes makes all the difference. He spent many years performing in Branson, Missouri, the place where country singers go to bide their time and play to an appreciative audience until their time comes around again. I wish his time had come around again under different circumstances, but come around it has and I'm glad for that.
I'd love for you to listen to Gentle on my Mind. It has the perfect melody to match what I feel are some great lyrics. I just love this song: http://youtu.be/2A7iuQF_tAc
What I was amazed at, in watching the video of his ABC interview, is that this man can still really sing. No studio alterations here. I heard very little difference from then until now. And that's not always the case. If you wish to watch it, you'll find it online, but interviewers, almost without fail, ask stupid questions and rather than give her anymore time, well, you're on your own for that one. I mean, who needs to hear about Elvis when you're talking to this good man right in front of you?
I've purposely chosen videos that are just about the song, nothing to watch here folks. As a matter of fact, I prefer my Glen songs as I'm working in the kitchen. They belong in the everyday of life, because that's what they're all about.
Hell's bells, as long as you're here, you might as well listen to Wichita Lineman, just to be reminded:
All three of these songs take up not much more than ten minutes of our lives, but they span decades and will stay with me forever. They're a very big part of the soundtrack of my life.
Glen's new one, Ghost on the Canvas, has some lines I just love: wheat fields and crows. Anybody coming to mind? Here it is. I hope his tour lasts a very long time.
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I hadn't heard about his diagnosis, and I'm sad for his wife. Hopefully, the journey won't be hard for him, too. I listened to his music when I was a tender sprout, wondering why he stuffed his sleeping back behind some woman's couch - I would get in trouble for that. Ink stains dried upon some line, that puzzled me, too.ReplyDelete
Hey Duck, LOL He was a man on the move, it seems. Regarding ink stains: marriage contracts, and they are contracts, make no sense at all to me anymore, except to legally protect those we love and Everyone should have that right.ReplyDelete
On the other note, yeah, I hope his wife can stay strong, too.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Such a very sad illness and one which it is for those affected in whatever way so very difficult to come to terms with. But this is such a sensitive post which, for us, revives memories of two very classic songs and introduces us through 'Ghost on the Canvas' to something entirely new. Have a lovely weekend.
Glen sings lead on this song by Sagitarius. An amazing life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG3rS9M5lwoReplyDelete
Jane and Lance, It is a very sad illness. I was taken with what a wonderful attitude he has and I hope he can stave off the worst of it for a very long time. A lovely weekend to you, as well.ReplyDelete
Cletis, Thanks for the link. He did some time with the Beach Boys as well, guitar and harmony. Wikipedia has his history and it's an interesting one. Large family, sharecropper's son in Delight Arkansas, started his music career in his uncle's band in Albuquerque. Good stuff. What a life he's led. Thanks Cletis!ReplyDelete
Wonderful, evocative songs from my youth. Thanks for the post.ReplyDelete
At first blush, I didn't recognize Glenn Campbell here, Teresa, then, I did, and Wichita Lineman come immediately to mind. How often that song played on my car radio as I made the trip back and forth on old Route 66 to college!ReplyDelete
What a poignant post. How brave of Glen Campbell and his wife Kim Woolen to talk about Glen's illness and to move forward in his career with this new album and tour. Can you just imagine the kind of hope this brings for so many dealing with this disease?
Linda M., You're so welcome. It was a pleasure to pay tribute to this good man.ReplyDelete
Penny, Wichita Lineman and Old Route 66, that's a nice combo. I thought, too, of the hope this brings to so many. It's a real lasting testament to who he is.
Sad to think all of his talent could be lost in a mind trapped within. What a fun song to hear him again. I remember some fun picking sessions on his show.ReplyDelete
Isn't is nice that we still have artists that write and sing music that make us feel. I've been reading Shirley MacLaine's book I'm All Over That, and she talks about how the movie industry has taken to choosing projects based on them not being a subject that would cause people to feel emotion. I think it's why we gravitate so much to music, especially that of seasoned singers like Glen Campbell, Streisand, Tony Bennett Duets etc. The comeback group.ReplyDelete
I was sorry to here the news about Glen's diagnosis...and wish him the best. He's brought us many years of heartfelt pleasure. Ghost on a Canvas moved me to tears...it's his best. And your right his voice is still there, and better than ever. It felt good catching up with him again. Thanks Teresa.
We just watched a PBS special the other night with Glen Campbell singing, from back in the 80's. He has such a smooth voice. I hadn't heard "Ghost on the Cnavas"...very nice.ReplyDelete
Like you and like many I have always liked this man and his music.ReplyDelete
purses wo ho
I had read about this. I remember Glen. One of the first songs i learned how to play was 'Gentle on my Mind'. When I watched your video, I got my old Ovation out and played along.(badly I might add). I had not heard 'Ghost on a Canvass'. The song and the line about ~spirits making love in a wheat field and crows~ did remind me of something. In the late 70' I meet a man in Santa Fe that later became my partner. His name was Earl Biss.(please look him up and you will see what I mean) Good stuff, thanks!ReplyDelete
Steve, I hope he has a very long run before any of that starts to become more evident. Thanks for commenting.ReplyDelete
Karena, Music really is all about emotion, the nature of the arts, all art. I find the Shirley MacLaine story interesting.
I'm glad you enjoyed this post.
LadyCat, I'll look for that PBS show, in case it comes around here. He really does have a nice voice, very natural, but with soul.
One Fly, He's classic. I'm glad his music will be listened to again. He has quite the list of songs to his credit. thanks for the nod on your purse post. I really enjoyed reading that. anyone reading this, go over to fly's Picture Place. He's done a great post on his own "purses," tools for life.
Michael, I checked out Earl's work. It appears he was a very accomplished painter, with an interesting background. Are you an artist, too?
There's also a link in One Fly's comment!ReplyDelete
It was the Summer of 1968. Two of my friends and I were riding in the bed of a pick-up truck on our way to town with our (separate) brothers in the cab with the radio cranked as loud as it would go. The Glen Campbell song "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife" started playing on the radio. Singing as one, the three of us started singing along with Glen and we never missed a word. Our brothers thought we were completely nuts. I dont want to even count how many years ago that was but I remember it like it was yesterday. Great memories. Thanks Glen.ReplyDelete
This man is an artist. I loved his songs and I'm so glad he has a new album.ReplyDelete
"Spirits make love, in a wheat field with crows."
steven, What a great memory! And another great song. I'm glad it carries a memory like that for you. I can just envision it. Riding in the back of pickup trucks, those were fun days. Thanks so much for this. What a remarkable thing Glen ha done, creating memories for us with all these great songs. It's fun, isn't it when memories come back so clear?ReplyDelete
farmlady. Isn't that a great line?
His talk of soul tells me his travels along some tough roads have brought him to a really good place.
I had just learned about that wonderful basketball coach, Pat Summit, being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. It's an awful disease, especially for those left behind. Have you read Still Alice by Lisa Genova? It's written from the POV of the patient and is amazing.ReplyDelete
Glen is a fine musician from my era, and I'll always appreciate his music. Thank you for the fine post.
DJan, It sounds like she's going to move into and through it for as long as she can, as is Glen. I like that. It brings a wonderful sense of pushing back against that dreaded thing.ReplyDelete
Another poignant look at this disease is the film, "Away From Her," with Julie Christie. I couldn't watch it for the longest time, but I did last winter. Such a good film.
Coach Pat Summit is in he early stages of dementia too . I have always liked Glen Campbell's music...ReplyDelete
Paul, Yeah, she's fighting back with a great attitude. Thanks.ReplyDelete
I did my teenage courting listening to Glen, and so sad to hear of his diagnosis. His music still resonates, even now with my children.ReplyDelete
I recently managed to make myself watch the Julie Christie film, 'Away From Her' having avoided it for ages. Scary and heartbreaking for the partner left behind.
His music and lyrics remain a part of all our histories.
I Love The Bloke.He Is Currently Touring The UK.Apart From His Voice & Song I Always Liked His Championing of Jimmy Webb (another hero)ReplyDelete
Jane, Teenage courting and Glen do seem to go together. They did for me, too.ReplyDelete
That was a hard film to watch, wasn't it? I felt so bad for the husband, for everyone, just not a good way to move through the final years.
Tony, I heard in the interview he was touring in the UK. Yes, Jimmy Webb is one of our greatest songwriters. Man, does he have some titles....
Glen really does pass the songs for all time test. He was my car company on many a road trip, singing with him all the way. Had a bit of a crush on him.ReplyDelete
He deserves the kind of pleasure in his final phase that he brought to all of us with that wonderful voice. Love this new song and so pleased he is able to enjoy another tour and get the well deserved audience feedback.
Thanks for honoring him this way Teresa. Lovely post.
Chris, I appreciate your response, very much.ReplyDelete
Fight and fight againReplyDelete
Never give up - keep going,
You'll win in the end.
Paul, Thank you! I think it's important to fight back against these types of diagnosis, any type of diagnosis.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you found me so I could read your blog. This post may help a dear friend. Thank you.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad. It's nice to know this post could have a positive impact. Thanks for coming by.ReplyDelete