When I was a kid, my family watched The Smothers Brothers Show on TV for as long as it ran. The summer of '68, they introduced a guy from Arkansas who so charmed the masses and the CBS execs that he was offered his own show the next year. He had an amazing voice and played the guitar as if it were part of him.
I was twelve years old.
Music is a funny thing. It embeds itself in places I can't see, draws associations I'm unaware of at the time, gets indelibly lodged in my memory and evokes emotions that surprise me. I listened to this guy's music for many years, faithfully watched his show every week for the 4 years of its run, gathered his albums, followed his career, his ups and downs, his tragedies, and eventually learned that the grace of God had saved him. I recall great emotion when I heard that news. And whenever I hear one of his songs, it just does something to me.
Surprised by emotion.
Glen Campbell now has Alzheimer's. Again, I was surprised by the emotion that knowledge evoked in me. Sadness. A flood of memories of TV shows, magazine article pictures on my bulletin board, and 33 LP records. I also discovered that he is in the midst of his "Goodbye Tour" and will be playing in Shelton tomorrow night, surrounded by three of his kids who form part of his band and who help him function enough to do the shows. This seventh son of a seventh son, who still has a golden voice and magic in his fingers, is performing despite the ravages of this diabolical disease, because in ways we don't understand, the music remains.
And I'm going.
More than 4 decades beyond the summer of '68, and I get to go listen to this man sing the songs that have been part of the fabric of my life since then. And I get to share it with some of my favorite people on earth.
How cool is that?