I Have to Leave You: Glen Campbell’s Adiós

Glen Campbell, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, has given his fans one last gift of a final studio album, Adiós.  Campbell recorded the album after his Goodbye Tour and the filming of the documentary I’ll Be Me.

The new album features some of Campbell’s favorite songs.  Rolling Stone claims the album “stands among Campbell’s best – heartbreaking and imbued with poignancy, but sung with the same pure, sparkling vocals that are a distinguishing hallmark.”

Songwriter Jimmy Webb wrote the title track, “Adiós,” along with three other tracks on the album.  Webb wrote several of Campbell’s biggest hits, including “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston.”

Like the song that had been billed as Campbell’s final song in September 2014 — “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” — the lyrics to “Adiós” achieve special meaning considering Campbell’s medical condition.  But it is not a new song.  Linda Ronstadt had an Adult Contemporary hit with it in 1990.

And “Adiós” is not new for Campbell either.  Webb has explained that he and Campbell used to play the song all the time in various places, including their homes, hotels, and dressing rooms. Check out the recording of the song, produced by Campbell’s longtime friend Carl Jackson.

Don’t think that I’m ungrateful,
And don’t look so morose;

Jackson explained that in order to help Campbell record the songs, he printed the lyrics in big print.  And sometimes they did one line of a song at a time. But, Jackson explained, Campbell had no trouble remembering the melodies and the correct keys.

Adiós will hit stores and the Internet on June 9, 2017. Other tracks on the album include a duet with Willie Nelson on his song “Funny How Time Slips Away.” Also, the album features Campbell’s interpretation of  “Everybody’s Talkin’.”

Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Highwaymen Reunite at Grammys (Sort Of)

    Sunday night the 56th Annual Grammy Awards had various moments, including what was billed as a reunion of The Highwaymen. The two surviving members of the supergroup — Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson — were joined by Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton. But the performance was only partly a tribute to the band that released three albums and a recognition of its deceased members Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, as most of the performance acknowledged the individuals on stage. That was okay, though, as it was good to see the three legends on stage with Blake Shelton giving the group a little shot of “youth.”

    As you may see in the following video, the performance opens with the two surviving Highwaymen singing a little of the group’s hit “Highwayman,” a song about reincarnation written by Jimmy Webb. Then, they are joined by Haggard and Shelton, singing Haggrard’s “Okie from Muskogee” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” which had been a hit for Nelson and Jennings.

    Many years ago, I saw the original Highwaymen perform at the Houston Astrodome. It was a memorable experience to see the country music legends all together, and at that performance they did a lot of individual songs too. So in a sense, the reunion continued that tradition of being more than just about songs by the Highwaymen. With Cash and Jennings gone, of course the band can never be the same. But like another Grammy sort-of reunion of another great quartet that had Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr playing together, we will take what we can get, while also remembering those who can no longer perform.

    What was your favorite performance at the Grammys? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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