On the Passing of Glen Campbell

Glen CampbellAs I remember singer, songwriter and entertainer Glen Campbell who passed away yesterday, the sound and significance of music becomes even more important to me. I reflect on the beauty and joy he brought to the world. My kids will say, “I thought you were a Neil Diamond fan?” That’s true, but my musical tastes go far beyond that noted troubadour.

An Important Part of Life

Music is an important part of every creature’s life, and it enters our individual space from many sources. As I write with my window open this morning, I hear a Blue Jay singing his familiar song in the distance. He is joined by other songbirds as they celebrate the start of a new day. Birds begin to sing one hour prior to sunrise. Years of conscious listening confirm that fact for me. What a great way to start each day. They are most active and alive in the Spring, much like life as it erupts anew every year.

Evolution of Recent Recorded Music

I remember vinyl records, 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, CD’s, MPEG’s, and now MP3’s and 4’s. Each brought joy to billions of people around the world. I have many old CD’s, but the only ones I find myself listening to regularly are the Christmas CD’s. I use an old CD player I acquired almost 15 years ago. It sits on top of an old cabinet in the sunroom. Beyond Christmas, I listen to its radio, which is tuned to the Minneapolis PBS station. Occasionally, as we prepare dinner, I pull up my Harry Chapin station on Pandora.

A Courageous Fight

Glen CampbellWhen I learned yesterday that Glen Campbell had died, I was glad his battle with Alzheimer’s Disease was finally over. He showed courage through the fight. Mr. Campbell had over 20 top 40 hits. My favorite Glen Campbell song was written by his long-time friend and collaborator Jimmy Webb in 1968 when Mr. Campbell outsold the Beatles.

What Songs Bring You Joy and Comfort

Great music surrounds us and holds the Earth in its tones. Here are what I consider the five most beautiful songs. In reverse chronological order …

  • Stranger with the Melodies, written, composed and performed by Harry Chapin, 1979
  • Please Come to Boston, written, composed and performed by Dave Loggins, 1974
  • Mr. Tanner, written, compose and performed by Harry Chapin, 1973
  • Stones, written, composed and performed by Neil Diamond, 1971 and
  • Wichita Lineman, written and composed by Jimmy Webb, performed by Glen Campbell, 1968

What songs bring a smile to your face and calm your heart? Which words and melodies bring you joy and comfort? While I expect everyone’s musical tastes to be different, take a moment and reflect on your favorites as you listen to Glen Campbell’s original recording of Wichita Lineman.

Thank you, Glenn Campbell for making the world
a better place to be.

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One Response to On the Passing of Glen Campbell

  1. Brad says:

    “Stop This Train” by John Mayer–makes me think about how fast my girls are growing up.
    “Dance All Night” by Ryan Adams–I could list his entire catalog as my favorite songs, but this one is really special. Xylia and I would dance to this song after dinner no fewer than once daily for many years. Now that she is ten, she will still ask me to play this song for us from time to time.
    “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros–Icelandic band that sings in a mix between Icelandic and a made-up language, and while most of the songs are about weird elves living in the hills of Iceland (which the majority of Icelandic folks believe in), the SOUND of the song is uplifting and touches me… and the video they made for the song is well worth the listen.
    “Space Oddity” by David Bowie–never listened to Bowie much until 5 years ago or so, and this song is one that really resonated with me at that time.
    “Ain’t No Reason” by Brett Dennen–this song is so incredibly wise and powerful in its lyrics, and I think every human should hear it at least once. He is a talented and thoughtful hippie, and this is the best of what he has done (in my opinion).

    My list could go on and on forever and change with the weather, but these will ALWAYS be on there.

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