There are goodbyes, and then there are farewells. When Glen Campbell embarked upon his career-concluding tour in 2012, which included a stop at Ravinia on June 28, there was a sense that he really wanted to do his fare well for his generations of fans, and also for himself.
Having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in early 2011, he forgot a few words here and there, but his phenomenal guitar work was ever-present. As a young man, he’d been drafted into the legendary “Wrecking Crew” of LA recording session musicians, with whom he would play on such ditties as “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” by the Righteous Brothers and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, before making his own bones as a singer with “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and so many other songs. “You’ve got to be responsible for the things that you sing,” Campbell said in a 2012 Ravinia magazine interview, “so I always picked the songs that I liked. … There’s a lot of people who liked that kind of music, and that’s where it all happened for me.” After his final live performance at the end of that year, Campbell returned to the recording studio with his musician children and longtime producer to preserve “what magic was left.” The resulting albums revealed quintessential Glen Campbell: 2013’s See You There providing austere looks back on favorites from his career, and Adiós, released two weeks ago, featuring songs he had long loved but hadn’t before had the chance to record, including a duet with Willie Nelson on “Funny How Time Slips Away.”