God Reports
8/10/17 at 12:22 AM 0 Comments

The faith of Glen Campbell, the prodigal singing star rescued from his demons

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Glen Campbell

By Mark Ellis

Glen Campbell, the acclaimed pop-country singer, songwriter, and musician, who sold more than 45 million records and won four Grammys, passed to his reward August 8th due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81.

During the height of his career he hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour on CBS television, from 1969 to 1972. He amassed 12 gold albums, four platinum albums, and one double-platinum album.

He is best known for hits that include “Gentle on My Mind”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston”, “Rhinestone Cowboy”, and “Southern Nights”.

“I’m not a country singer per se, I’m a country boy who sings,” Campbell once told an interviewer.

He also had a turbulent personal life with three failed marriages, partly due to his battle with alcohol and cocaine addiction.

He was a farm boy who grew up in Billstown, Arkansas, the son of a sharecropper named after Christian historical giant John Wesley. Glen was the seventh of 12 children.

Campbell started playing guitar at four-years-old after his uncle Boo bought him a five-dollar guitar from Sears. He practiced guitar when he wasn’t working in the cotton fields.

His parents were devout members of the Church of Christ and raised their children in the faith. The first song he remembered singing as a child was “Where Can I Go, but to the Lord?” The second one he could recall was Amazing Grace.”

When Campbell’s career began to gain traction he struck a deal with himself. “I guess each one of us…has a personal, somewhat secret, ambition that he hopes someday to fulfill. My own goal had its beginning years ago when my career was just starting to flourish. I promised myself that if all went well I would record an inspirational album in which I chose all the selections myself,” he told Cross Rhythm in 1990.

But before he recorded his gospel album, he experienced the highest highs and lowest lows that stardom can bring.


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