After Glen Campbell's 2011 Alzheimer's diagnosis, which he followed with the Goodbye Tour and the documentary film I'll Be Me chronicling both, the performer returned to the recording studio one final time to leave family, friends and fans worldwide a remarkable gift. Adiós, the final studio album from the six-time Grammy winner, spotlights some of
Just as Campbell's classics "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston" all sprang from the fertile mind of Jimmy Webb, four of the tracks on Adiós were penned by him as well, including the title track, which was previously a Top Ten Adult Contemporary hit for Linda Ronstadt in 1990.
"Glen and I used to play that song all the time," Webb tells Rolling Stone Country. "We played it in dressing rooms, hotels, we played it over at his house, we played it at my house. He always loved that song. I heard 'Adiós' this morning and my wife and I both broke down and cried all over this hotel room. It's the first time we ever heard it. Carl just did something extraordinary."
The Carl to whom Webb is referring is musician, songwriter, producer and
"Glen and I have been close such a long, long time," says
While "Adiós" closes the album and provides its painfully perfect title, it didn't become the title cut or centerpiece of the LP until much later in the recording process. Jackson had initially expected another of the tracks, "Arkansas Farmboy," to be the title tune since it's a song that was written – by Jackson on a flight to Australia with Campbell – about the entertainer's humble beginnings, learning "In the Pines" on a "five-dollar gee-tar," he would tell Jackson in his Southern drawl.
"This album is just kind of a gift from the gods" - Jimmy Webb
"It was just one of the four Jimmy Webb songs we picked,"
Other highlights on the album include the Webb tunes "Postcard From Paris," "It Won't Bring Her Back" and "Just Like Always"; Campbell's duet on "Funny How Time Slips Away" with its songwriter Willie Nelson; the touching "Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)," penned by Roger Miller and featuring an intro sung by the late, legendary songwriter; and a breezy take on the Fred Neil classic "Everybody's Talkin'," popularized by Harry Nilsson, its wanderlust lyrics given added weight in light of Campbell's diagnosis.
"The whole Glen story since Alzheimer's entered the picture has been sort of startlingly unique in the fact that he continued to perform and there were a lot of unexpected things that happened," says Webb. "This album is just kind of a gift from the gods. Carl is like some kind of magical person now, in my view, because he put the album together that Glen wanted to sing. And I just feel blessed that I get to hear these songs. It's like early Christmas."
Webb's songs that he penned for Glen Campbell will no doubt be a focal point of the tribute concert to the songwriter, The Cake and the Rain, named after Webb's recently released memoir, at New York's Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 3rd, where Webb will be joined by Glen's daughter, Ashley Campbell, along with Dwight Yoakam, Toby Keith, Graham Nash, Hanson, Art Garfunkel, Amy Grant, Judy Collins, Michael Douglas and Johnny Rivers.
Adiós will be released June 9th and is now available for pre-order.