By the time songwriter Jimmy Webb first met pop-country performer Glen Campbell in person, they had already won a pair of Grammys (for “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”). Sharing more than 100 collaborative recordings, the Webb-Campbell partnership remains one of the most fruitful in popular music.
To commemorate Campbell turning 80 years old and pay tribute to his longtime friend, Webb will present a special edition of his national touring show, “Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years,” at Nashville’s City Winery. Set for Tuesday, May 3rd, the multi-media concert includes virtual duets and stories of how such iconic songs as “Galveston” and “Wichita Lineman” were created.
Additionally, Webb will share the stage with three of Campbell’s children — Ashley, Shannon, and Cal — for this event only.
“I created this show to honor my friend and collaborator,” Webb said in a statement announcing the special performance. “I know that Glen would want us to concentrate on having a good time and enjoying the music, Ashley, Shannon and Cal are tremendous musicians, they take after their dad. I am glad to have them as part of this one-night only performance.”
With paths that were seemingly fated to cross, Webb recalls growing up in Oklahoma, hearing Campbell’s voice on the radio and praying that one day he might hear that voice singing his songs. A few years later, Campbell heard one of Webb’s tunes coming from his radio. Recognizing the song’s commercial potential, Campbell covered it and earned a Grammy for his performance. Their first meeting took place during the recording of an advertising jingle.
“I walked in with Jesus length hair and a beard and my flowered shirt on and my old jeans and put out my hand and said, ‘Mr. Campbell, I’m…’ and he looked up from tending his guitar and he sort of cut me with those bright blue eyes and he said, ‘When you gonna get a haircut?'” Webb told Delaware Public Media.
Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 and is in the final stages of the disease. He is living in a memory care facility and receiving treatment that includes music therapy.