Glen Campbell died yesterday, August 8, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81.
Elvis and Glen Campbell had been friends for over a decade before Campbell became a star in 1967 with songs like “Gentle on my Mind,” and “By the Time I get to Phoenix.”
Glen Campbell first met Elvis on April 12, 1956 when Elvis performed at the Armory in Albuquerque, NM.
Campbell later recalled, “I saw him in the rough. He was so electrifying.”
They remained friends over the years. When Campbell moved to Los Angeles in 1960, he started playing at a little club called the Crossbow. They had a private room upstairs seating 15 to 20 people, and Elvis would bring the guys and watch Campbell perform.
In 1963, Glen Campbell was in the group of studio musicians that backed Elvis on the soundtrack songs for Viva Las Vegas.
There is a video on YouTube where Campbell tells a wonderful story about Elvis. In March 1975, Campbell had just finished a run at the Las Vegas Hilton. Elvis was the next headliner, so Campbell stayed around to catch his first show. With Campbell sitting in the audience, Elvis said:
“I’d like to introduce you to a good friend of mine. He just closed here last night…and he should have. I’m only kidding‘, ladies and gentlemen, he’s one of the finest voices around. He plays a fair guitar, his hair never moves, Jack, no matter what he does. Naw, he’s a great friend, Glen Campbell.”
The good natured ribbing continued:
Elvis — Hey, Campbell. I understand you’re trying to do me on stage.
Glen — I am doing you. (Audience laughs)
Elvis — If you don’t stop doing me, me and the boys will sit in the front row and read newspapers during your show.
Glen — If I’m going to do you in the future, I’m gonna have to gain some weight.
With that line, the audience booed Glen Campbell. He and Elvis got together later and had a good laugh about it. Elvis gave him some good-natured grief: “You smart ass.”
This is Glen Campbell wearing a jump suit and “doing Elvis” in 1975.
Good bye, Glen Campbell. We’ll miss you. Say hi to Elvis for us.
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