Though Glen Campbell’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed too far for him to remain on tour, the veteran singer is planning a followup to his 2011 album Ghost on the Canvas, which he had intended to be his last recorded work. Campbell will release See You There on August 6th on Surfdog Records. The new album features reimagined versions of hits like “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Gentle on My Mind,” and was recorded by Julian Raymond during the same sessions that yielded songs for Ghost on the Canvas.
Campbell released that album in August 2011, after announcing in June that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “I do get confused,” he told Rolling Stone that year. “I don’t even look at anything anymore, except what’s going on right now. I just thank God he’s given me a second chance.”
Backed by a band that included his children, Campbell embarked on an extensive farewell tour that continued through much of 2012, despite his having to cancel an Australian tour last July for health reasons. Campbell’s camp was even considered adding additional dates late last year.
Despite the toll Alzheimer’s has taken on the 77-year-old singer, he hasn’t lost his love of music. “Glen still wants to record, but it’s just a matter of if he’s able to,” his wife Kim told The Associated Press. “It just gets more and more difficult for him all the time.”
His family still invites musicians to their house, and Campbell joins in on jam sessions. He also stays active by playing golf. “We’re trying to live our lives and stay out there and socialize as much as we can as long as we can,” Kim Campbell said. “The other night we went to see Merle Haggard and hung out with Toby Keith on his bus . . . Everybody played different songs and had a great time. So we’re still out there trying to do that kind of stuff. But eventually we might not be able to do that.”
The reworked versions of Campbell’s classics are meant to evoke the feeling of sitting next to the singer while he sings them, Surfdog owner Dave Kaplan said. “I was immediately struck that they were kind of intimate and they definitely shook your spine,” Kaplan said. “They were haunting and stunning and had this new intimacy in a way I hadn’t heard these songs.”
The Arkansas native celebrates his 77th birthday today and will be in Washington D.C. on behalf of Alzheimer’s research. His itinerary includes a fundraising dinner for the Alzheimer’s Association and a visit to the U.S. Senate.