Ever smilin', ever gentle on our minds, Glen Campbell hosted a goodtime hour that lasted a lifetime.
But behind the good looks and aw-shucks grin, there was a weariness that served his music well. The ache in Campbell's down-home voice came through loud and clear in his best-known hits from the 1960s and '70s.
He was a "Wichita Lineman," a homesick soldier in "Galveston," the observer of "True Grit" (and John Wayne's co-star in the 1969 movie). And, of course, he was a "Rhinestone Cowboy," his biggest hit, No. 1 for two weeks in September 1975.
Campbell died today at 81, six years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He began his battle with the disease by heading out on a farewell tour, chronicled in the recent documentary "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me."
"I have cried and I have laughed," says the son of an Arkansas sharecropper. "Laughing is a hell of a lot better."