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A look back at Glen Campbell’s final show in Mississippi

A look back at Glen Campbell’s final show in Mississippi

A look back at Glen Campbell’s final show in Mississippi
August 09
13:12 2017

Glen Campbell had lightning-fast fingers and a voice that seemed capable of hitting any note . He showed off both talents on Feb. 26, 2012 to a packed audience at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson.

 Alzheimer’s already was taking its toll. He repeated himself a few times. He needed a teleprompter to remember some lyrics to classic songs. His daughter, Ashley, watched him closely from a few feet away as she played banjo.

Campbell was terrific. He played and sang all his hits, scooted up and down the guitar neck with precision and skill, and gave those in attendance an evening to cherish.

Alzheimer’s finally got the best of him Tuesday. He died at 81.

Campbell performed in Jackson as a benefit to the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s MIND Center (Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia Center), which conducts research to break new ground in treating Alzheimer’s.

Below is a story of mine that ran the day of the concert. I talked with his son and guitarist, Shannon, about the tour, his dad’s battle with the disease and what he tried to take from each night on stage with his dad.

‘Only one Glen Campbell’

Shannon Campbell realizes the good times won’t last forever.

His 75-year-old dad, the legendary singer and guitar player Glen Campbell, is battling Alzheimer’s as he continues his Goodbye Tour, which rolls into Jackson’s Thalia Mara Hall tonight at 6:30. Three members of the backing band are Glen Campbell’s children – drummer Cal, 28; guitarist Shannon, 27; and keyboard player and banjo picker Ashley, 25.

“It’s been a very emotional thing, this tour,” Shannon Campbell says by phone from his home in California. “When we do shows with string players, I think ‘Wow, this might be the last time my dad ever plays with strings.’ Or when we’re on TV, I’ll think ‘This might be his last television appearance.’

“But he’s had it so good, you know, it’s OK. It has to be a ‘last of’ everything.”

Still, the emotion of it all can be “overwhelming,” Shannon says: “There are times when he sings a song and it’s just so good … you realize what a great voice he’s always had. He nails the song. He owns it. And nobody else could sing that song like him.

“But then there are other times when he’s playing a line of a solo that he’s played a thousand times, and he just forgets. It makes me sad. You wonder, ‘How can he forget that?’ Then you’re reminded of just how terrible this illness is.”

Campbell’s family revealed in June 2011 he was battling Alzheimer’s.

“I thought it was a good idea to go public,” Shannon says. “We saw him messing up lines, being a little forgetful. And then we started reading things on the Internet … people thinking he was drunk on stage. And we didn’t want that. So we came forward with it.

“We didn’t know how people would respond, actually. You know, ‘Am I willing to pay $50 to go see a guy with Alzheimer’s forget his lines?’ But it’s never been like that.

Source: A look back at Glen Campbell’s final show in Mississippi

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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