Country-pop icon Glen Campbell can now add Oscar nominee to the extensive list of honors he has received in his 78 years. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” the powerful, heartbreaking track that closes the final minutes of the documentary film Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, received a Best Original Song nomination this morning for the legendary performer and his co-writer on the song, producer Julian Raymond.
Raymond, who moved with his wife and two children from Los Angeles to Nashville last August, learned he was an Academy Award nominee while sitting in the car line, dropping his teenage daughter off at school.
“From then on it was all mayhem,” Raymond tells Rolling Stone Country. “It’s been quite a morning. I don’t know how to describe it other than, wow, what a dream. I’m waiting to be slapped in the face and woken up.”
Raymond says that Campbell’s wife Kim and daughter Ashley were among the first people he heard from via email and text.
“Unfortunately for Glen, he wouldn’t be aware of it,” he says of the musician, who is currently residing in a memory-care facility in Nashville. “He wouldn’t understand it. I was lucky enough to be the musical director for the Glen tribute at the Grammys in 2012. I was so pleased that the Grammys gave him a Lifetime Achievement award when he could still understand what it was and appreciate it. But this is a whole different deal. It’s a cliché thing to say, but I’m just so happy to be nominated, for him and his family. I feel just so happy that this whole thing is creating a brand-new legacy for him and getting some of those great old songs heard. As we joke, he’s lived a thousand lifetimes. He’s just amazing in so many ways.”
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” was recorded by Campbell and Raymond with members of the Wrecking Crew, the group of L.A. studio and session musicians whose work was heard on countless tracks recorded in the 1960s. Campbell, who played guitar on recordings by everyone from the Beach Boys to Frank Sinatra, was one of the most successful Wrecking Crew veterans once his solo career began with such hits as “Gentle on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”
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Since the first award for Best Original Song was handed out in 1934, only 20 songs from documentary films have been nominated. The last to win the award was “I Need to Wake Up,” penned by Melissa Etheridge for Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Raymond, who produced Campbell’s final albums, including 2011’s remarkable Ghost on the Canvas — which preceded the Goodbye Tour and the documentary film — previously worked in the A&R (artists and repertoire) department at Capitol Records, and has produced albums by Cheap Trick, Fastball and Shawn Mullins, among others. Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me was his first foray into scoring a film. He owes his personal and working relationship with the Country Music Hall of Famer to just two people: his parents.
“I grew up in a house where that’s all they played,” Raymond explains. “It was Glen 24 hours a day. They loved him and they played all his records. Particularly the Jimmy Webb songs: ‘Galveston,’ ‘Wichita Lineman,’ ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix.’ Those songs were a little country, a little pop, they were just unique pieces of music. I could listen to them for hours.”
Raymond says he also connected with Campbell’s songs not only through the writing of Webb, John Hartford and others, but also via the string arrangements of late producer Al DeLory. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever done that my parents have ever liked, that’s for sure,” Raymond says of his own Campbell collaborations, with a laugh.
The producer is currently developing new recording projects for the Big Machine label, including one with Glen’s multi-talented daughter Ashley, who toured as a member of her dad’s band and is seen throughout the documentary film. Raymond will also be scoring the Glen Campbell biopic now in the works, with James Keach set to direct. Keach previously served as a producer on the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is due out on DVD sometime this spring.