Following in the footsteps of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones, Glen Campbell will be the subject of a new museum in downtown Nashville.
The Glen Campbell Museum & Rhinestone Stage, which is slated to open in early 2020, will honor the life of the “Rhinestone Cowboy” by showcasing different stages of his career and displaying a collection of personal artifacts, including guitars, instruments, golf clubs, family photos, stage clothing and much more.
Located at the corner of Broadway and 2nd Avenue, the 4,000-square-foot museum will transform into The Rhinestone Stage in the evenings, a live music venue that hopes to attract national and local acts.
“I am thrilled that Glen’s musical legacy will be preserved and celebrated in such a beautiful and enduring way,” said Kim Campbell, Glen’s wife of 34 years. “The museum is sure to inspire countless musicians and music lovers while continuing to entertain his lifelong fans and share his amazing gifts with generations to come. It’s with a big heart and sincere gratitude that we share Glen’s memories and cherished personal possessions with his fans and the world.”
A renowned singer, songwriter and guitarist, Glen had an easy way with a song, effortlessly conveying a wealth of emotion in just a single line or guitar lick. Born April 22, 1936, in Delight, Ark., Glen made his way west to Los Angeles, where he became an in demand studio musician. He was a member of the anonymous but nonetheless legendary Wrecking Crew, a group of players who performed the music on albums by the Byrds, the Monkees and the Beach Boys, among others. Glen, in fact, would join the Beach Boys as a touring musician in the ’60s when the group’s troubled genius Brian Wilson ceased traveling.
But it was with his own solo career that Glen had his greatest success. In 1967, he released the album Gentle on My Mind, the title track of which cracked the Top 40. It was the following year, however, with the release of the albums By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Wichita Lineman, when Glen truly broke out. The title songs of both efforts would result in two of Glen’s biggest hits, with “Wichita Lineman” becoming Glen’s signature song until the release of 1975’s iconic “Rhinestone Cowboy.” It was that song, a crossover No. 1 on both the pop and country charts, that came to define Glen and revitalized his career, following a somewhat fallow period in the early ’70s.
In addition to his musical stardom, Glen also gained attention as a TV personality, hosting The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour variety show from 1969 to 1972. Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, The Monkees and Linda Ronstadt were among the diverse acts who appeared on the series. Glen’s good looks and smooth on-camera persona also helped him land a handful of film roles, most notably opposite John Wayne in 1969’s True Grit.
Glen Campbell died on Aug. 8, 2017, following a long fight against Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81 years old.
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com