Glen Campbell can no longer play the guitar because of Alzheimer's disease, but the legendary country singer still breaks into playing air guitar on occasion and attempts to sing, his wife Kim Campbell said in an interview with The Tennessean
Campbell, whose hits like "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Gentle on My Mind," and "Wichita Lineman" made him one of top country music acts of the 1970s and 1980s, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011, the newspaper noted.
Campbell, 80, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has been in a long-term memory care community near their home in Nashville since March 2014 when Kim Campbell came to the conclusion that taking care of him by herself was too much, The Tennessean reported.
Kim Campbell told the newspaper that her experience caring for her entertainer husband takes her back to words on his song "Ghost on the Canvas" which says, "I know a place between life and death for you and me."
"That's kind of where you feel like you are living when you are living with Alzheimer's," Kim Campbell told The Tennessean.
Campbell's song "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," from his documentary "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me," was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song in a movie in 2015, noted Rolling Stone magazine, one of the last of a long list of accolades for the singer.
The documentary, which reveals Campbell's professional and private struggle with Alzheimer's during his farewell tour, was released in 2014. While he is suffering now with aphasia, the loss of most of his language skills, Kim Campbell told The Tennessean "he still has his essence."
That's where he breaks into playing air guitar and sometimes attempts to tell jokes and sing, which often comes out as gibberish, she said to the newspaper. His daughter Ashley Campbell, also a singer, will bring her guitar at times and play for him, playing tunes from either Emmylou Harris or Johnny Cash, noted The Tennessean.
"I want to let people know that there's hope out there, there's help out there, they don't have to do this alone," Kim Campbell told the newspaper about the pressures of being a caregiver to someone with Alzheimer's. "They can't do it alone. It will take you down."
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