Glen Campbell – One day at a time
November 21, 2011
Glen Campbell is 75-years-old and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, so he may not remember being in the western slope towns of Ridgway, Ouray, Telluride and Montrose, Colorado. But he was! And some local Colorado people are still around who remember him. Other fans recall stories their parents told them about the filming of the original 1969 movie, “True Grit” here.
The three leading roles were John Wayne playing U.S. Marshall Reuben “Rooster” J. Cogburn, Kim Darby playing Mattie Ross, while Glen Campbell played Texas Ranger LeBoeuf.
The courtroom scenes in “True Grit” were filmed in the 1888 Ouray County Courthouse. The public hanging scenes were filmed in Ridgway’s City Park, with many of the local school kids and townspeople hired as extras for the crowd scenes. The clearing area in the movie was filmed near the top of Owl Creek Pass, outside of Ridgway. The shoot out scene at the end was at Chimney Peak, part of the Cimarron Range, outside of Ridgway. And the classic snake pit scene was on Camp Bird Road between Ouray and Telluride.
Glen Campbell commented in past interviews about being asked by John Wayne if he wanted to be in a movie with him and sing the title song, “True Grit.” John Wayne handpicked him for the part. When 33-year-old Glen told him he had never acted before, Wayne said, “That’s OK kid. I’ll take care of the acting; you do the singing.” John Wayne received the Academy Award for his film role, the only Oscar he ever received. The song, “True Grit” was nominated for an Academy Award.
“I think it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Being on a horse riding next to John Wayne,” Campbell claimed. Tales of Glen and the Duke eating dinner together and joking at a rear booth in the Red Barn Restaurant in Montrose continue over the years. They say Wayne had his bottle of Tequila, his favorite drink, stowed behind the bar.
Glen Campbell, one of 12 children was born in Billstown, outside Delight, Ark., on April 20, 1936. He has performed onstage for over 50 successful years in show business, starting out playing guitar with his uncle’s band in Albuquerque at age 16.
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Songs like “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I get to Phoenix,” “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Southern Nights” and “Gentle on my Mind” are only a few of his many hits and are so familiar to audiences that they can’t stop sing along with him in concerts.
He’s been married 30 years to his wife, Kimberly “Kim” Woolen, a former member of the New York City Rockettes. She met him on a blind date arranged by her girlfriend who was dating one of Campbell’s band musicians. The four of them attended a James Taylor concert.
In an August 2011 interview at their home in Malibu California, he and his supportive wife sat together on a couch, answering questions from a British TV news team about his illness, and his scheduled European tour. He has traveled to Europe many times and the audiences there were anticipating his visit.
They asked him how he felt. “I don’t feel any different than I usually do,” he answered.
Turning to her, he asked, “What is it that I have, Kim?”
“Alzheimer’s,” she answered him quietly, adding, “We just take it one day at a time.”
Grinning over at her, Glen nodded, and then repeating the words she had just said. “One day at a time. One day at a time. That’s one of the oldest hymns I ever learned, he began singing softly, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus. One day at a time. That’s all I am asking of you,” as his voice lowered and his words trailed off.
Smiling, Kim said, “We are looking forward to the UK tour visiting England, Scotland and Ireland in October and November. Glen has so many fans over there. We call it the “Good Bye Tour” and will be promoting his latest album, “The Ghost on the Canvas.” Our three kids, Cal, Shannon and Ashley, of course, are going with us. They have a band called, “Instant People,” and will be onstage with Glen, so he will be surrounded by his family. We’ve taken them on the road everywhere since they were born. They have Glen’s musical talent,” she ended.
From the book, “True Grit,” by Charles Portis. Signet Books. New York. 1968:
Mattie Ross: “I heard nothing more of the Texas officer, LaBoeuf … I judge he is in his seventies now, and nearer eighty than 70. I expect some of the starch has gone out of that cowlick. Time just gets away from us.”
Phil Bennett, a reviewer for the West Sussex County Times newspaper in UK wrote:
“Watching Glen leave the Brighton stage with one last gentle wave, I could not help wishing he will be able to remember in the years to come just a little of the deep affection people sent to him on this special night.”