Instead, he spent his 77th birthday in Washington DC as an advocate for Alzheimer’s research, a fundraising dinner for the Alzheimer’s Association and a visit to Capitol Hill, where he visited the Senate.
Alzheimer’s has robbed Campbell of many of his best memories, gained over a lifetime as an entertainment icon who was a pop star, a groundbreaking session musician, an actor and TV variety show host. But it hasn’t taken everything.
Campbell has just released a new album See You There.
It’s a re-imagining of some of his most popular songs, recorded by Julian Raymond during the same sessions that produced Campbell’s last studio album of all new material, 2011’s strong Ghost on the Canvas. The album offers new versions of his biggest hits like “Wichita Lineman,” ”By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” ”Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Hey Little One.”
In a brief interview, Campbell said of the songs: “Oh, they’re great. Those are great.”
“Glen still wants to record, but it’s just a matter of if he’s able to,” Glen’s wife Kim Campbell said. “It just gets more and more difficult for him all the time.”
“We’re trying to live our lives and stay out there and socialize as much as we can as long as we can,” she said. “The other night we went to see Merle Haggard and hung out with Toby Keith on his bus. … Everybody played different songs and had a great time. So we’re still out there trying to do that kind of stuff. But eventually we might not be able to do that.”
Here’s the track listing:
1. “Hey Little One”
2. “Wichita Lineman”
3. “Gentle on My Mind”
4. “I Wish You Were Here”
5. “Waiting on the Comin’ of My Lord”
6. “What I Wouldn’t Give”
8. “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”
9. “There’s No Me…Without You”
10. “True Grit”
11. “Rhinestone Cowboy”
12. “Waiting on the Comin’ of My Lord” feat. Jose Hernandez & Mariachi Del Sol De Mexico
Surfdog Records owner Dave Kaplan says See You There is meant to feel like sitting next to Campbell in the living room, the way he was introduced to him on The Goodtime Hour. The singer’s voice has changed enough with age that the songs take on a new life. Kaplan took Raymond’s vocal recordings and surrounded them with music meant to leave lots of space for the singer’s voice. A voice that is still immensely strong to this listener. Here’s the official video for “Hey Little One” and a sound bite from Surfdog that includes a snippet of the remake of “Rhinestone Cowboy” to support my point.