With an astonishing career that has spanned six decades, Glen Campbell has been one of the most successful pop-country crossover acts of all time. Much like Johnny Cash, another hugely influential musician who was also born in Arkansas, Glen became a household name in one musical genre, then saw his appeal widen to encompass not only multiple genres but other forms of media.
Like Johnny, Glen was a network TV star (a year before Cash). Both members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, now the two have another connection. Spinner Canada reports that James Keach, who produced the Cash biopic 'Walk the Line,' has just signed on to develop a film based on Glen Campbell's life story.
It's a life that has taken a difficult turn recently, as the 75-year-old has been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease. He's also announced that he is embarking on a goodbye tour and releases the final studio album of his career (the remarkable 'Ghost on the Canvas') today. The album's producer, Julian Raymond, recalls watching the singer's TV show as a youngster. "I'm a huge fan," he tells Spinner, "and I wanted to get him ramped back up."
The two first worked together on 2008's 'Meet Glen Campbell,' a unique collection of tunes first popularized by rock acts including Tom Petty, Foo Fighters and Green Day. Raymond says at the times he had no inkling about the singer's battle with Alzheimer's.
I knew nothing about the disease at that point," he notes. "Even today, he has good days and bad days."
The 'Ghost on the Canvas' album which has already been hailed by critics as a masterpiece will be accompanied by a goodbye tour which has the guitar player's family sticking close by. Several of his younger children will function as his backing band, called Instant People. Debby, Glen's firstborn daughter, will be one of his back-up vocalists.
Julian Raymond says working with Glen has helped him gained insight into the cinematic nature of the entertainer's life story.
"He has nine kids with four different wives," he says. "There's never a dull moment at Glen's house, I gotta tell you."
This story from TheBoot.com.