Remember When Glen Campbell Announced His Goodbye Tour?
When Glen Campbell announced his Goodbye Tour on Feb. 15, 2011, fans didn't yet know he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. That news wouldn't come until four months later, about two months prior to the planned kickoff of his trek.
Campbell intended for his Goodbye Tour to be his last even before revealing his battle with Alzheimer's, which he'd been quietly living with for a few years by that time. He shared his diagnosis when the disease progressed to the point where fans might notice that he was struggling; at the time, with his tour looming, his wife Kim noted, "Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer. But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused onstage, I wouldn’t want people to think, ‘What’s the matter with him? Is he drunk?'"
Following the public announcement, Campbell began his Goodbye Tour on Aug. 31, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His band included his three children with Kim: Ashley on banjo and keys, Cal on drums and Shannon on guitar; Debby, Campbell's daughter from a previous marriage, also briefly served as a harmony singer.
Campbell's Goodbye Tour supported his 61st studio album, Ghost on the Canvas, released on Aug. 30, 2011. He and producer Julian Raymond began the recording sessions for the project in 2009, aiming to create one final record of original material before his Alzheimer's progressed to a point at which he could no longer do so. Campbell would, however, later release See You There, recorded around the same time, in 2013 and Adios, recorded in late 2012 and early 2013, in 2017.
Campbell stayed on the road for his Goodbye Tour through Nov. 30, 2012, when he performed the last of 137 shows in Napa, Calif. Throughout those 15 months, he performed in the United States and Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“He functions the best onstage,” Kim Campbell explained in 2012. “I think it’s where he feels the most comfortable, because everything is the same for him on the stage. He knows where he is, where the band is, where the audience is and what he’s supposed to do.”
Director James Keach accompanied Campbell throughout his Goodbye Tour, turning the footage into Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a documentary that made its debut at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival. The lauded film's soundtrack received a Grammy (Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media) in 2016, while its song "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," performed by Campbell, was named Best Country Song and nominated for Best Country Song Written for Visual Media at the 2014 Grammys.
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" was also nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. The Band Perry's version of Campbell's classic "Gentle on My Mind," meanwhile, won a Grammy for Best Country Duo / Group Performance. I'll Be Me was also a finalist for the prestigious Peabody Awards.
By early 2014, Campbell's Alzheimer's had progressed to the point where it was no longer safe for him to remain in his home, and he was moved to a facility to receive full-time care. He returned home briefly in the fall of 2015 before he was relocated to a new care facility a few months later. Campbell died on Aug. 8, 2017.
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Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker
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