Randy Erickson: Glen Campbell was a man worth remembering

"I owe him everything I am, and everything I ever will be", daughter Ashley Campbell wrote on Twitter.

Campbell passed away earlier this week after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Most of you know my father Glen Campbell as the guitar player, singer and worldwide icon that he was.

Campbell was a member of the Wrecking Crew, a group of ultra talented studio musicians who played on tons of records in the 1960s and 70s. For years, the dreaded disease of Alzheimer's had been destroying Campbell's memory, body and soul.

The film, which generated the Grammy-winning song I'm Not Gonna Miss You, showed the star still instinctively fluent on the guitar yet struggling to remember lyrics and setlists and, by the time of his final show in Napa, California, barely able to lead his band. "Being a Christian, I love to tell people about Christ and what he's done for me and can do for them", Campbell said in 1990. It was part of Campbell's Goodbye Tour. I don't think that I realized what I was losing until it was already happening, and all of a sudden it was, 'Oh man, I'm going to miss this. After a stint with The Beach Boys (he filled in for Brian Wilson on tour and played on their landmark Pet Sounds album), he struck out on his own as a solo artist, singing '60s country-pop classics like "Gentle on My Mind" and "Wichita Lineman". "I'm going to miss this a lot'".

His TV variety show, similar to others of those years, such as the Johnny Cash Show, The Smothers Brothers, and Laugh-In, were watched by the entire family in our living rooms on the one TV set in our household. I ached for what happened to him - and how there was a pretty good chance it could happen to someone I love.

After seeing that, I found myself searching out videos on YouTube of Campbell in his prime, and the more I see, the more I realize how awesome he was. "Glen said that he surrendered everything to Christ-his pain, his drinking, his whole life and Jesus reached into his life 'and took up the burden'". They met after Campbell's divorce from his third wife, Sarah Barg, and became the target of tabloid headlines.

Vanessa Coleman

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