Rhinestone Cowboy: An Autobiography

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St. Martin's Press, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 271 pages
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With extraordinary candor intended to set the record straight, one of music's most popular performers tells of his sojourn amid the decadence and destructive trappings of fame - the bucks, the booze, the cocaine, the women - and of the religious awakening and unconditionally loving marriage that literally saved his life. Glen Campbell's boy-next-door persona belied his hedonistic, near-fatal lifestyle. It all started like a dream - the rise from ruthless poverty as one of twelve children in a small Arkansas town and the against-all struggle for stardom, first as a brilliant studio musician (behind artists such as Sinatra, Elvis, Ray Charles, and Nat King Cole), then as a solo performer who in the sixties and seventies sold some 45 million records (including the timeless classics "Wichita Lineman, " "Gentle on My Mind, " "By the Time I Get to Phoenix, " and, of course, "Rhinestone Cowboy") and hosted his own top-rated TV show. Too quickly, though, the dream became a nightmare of mad spending, multiple marriages, and abusive and all-too-public affairs, as well as wildly escalating alcohol and cocaine dependencies that threatened not only his career but his very existence. Now a Christian and in recovery, he has stepped back into the spotlight a whole man at last. With the help of bestselling author Tom Carter, Glen Campbell has given us a book that is both a star-studded show-biz memoir and a spiritual testimony that radiates great faith and emotion. Rhinestone Cowboy is his personal gift of thanks to the millions who have supported him through decades of good times and bad - and to the vast new audience who have grown to know him through his frequent appearances on cable television's 700Club and other Christian TV shows. "A lot of people are going to be surprised by my story, and I hope that a lot are going to be inspired, " Campbell declares. "All I know for sure is that it's time to tell it. And as honestly as I can, that's just what I've gone and done."

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An inherent problem with conversion narratives, whether written by a saint like Augustine or a costumed crooner like Campbell, is that most people would much rather have spent time with the ... Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Glen Travis Campbell was born on April 22, 1936 on a farm between Billstown and Delight, Arkansas. He received his first guitar at the age of 4 and was performing on local radio stations by the time he was 6. He quit school at the age of 14 and went to Albuquerque, where his father's brother-in-law, Dick Bills, had a band and was appearing on both radio and television. At the age of 22, he moved to Los Angeles and 1960 got a job playing with the rock 'n' roll group the Champs. He worked as a session musician for six years. He was a touring member of the Beach Boys from 1964-1965. He started recording his own music in the 1960s. His hit songs included Wichita Lineman, Gentle on My Mind, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Galveston, and Southern Nights. His albums included Meet Glen Campbell, Ghost on the Canvas, See You There, and Adiós. He received four Grammy Awards in 1968. From 1969 to 1972 he had his own weekly television show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. In 2005, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He appeared in several movies including True Grit and Norwood. His autobiography, Rhinestone Cowboy, was published in 1994. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011. His last performance was on November 30, 2012. His farewell tour and the way he and his family dealt with the progress of his disease were chronicled in a 2014 documentary entitled Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. In the spring of 2014, he moved into a long-term care and treatment center. He died from Alzheimer's disease on August 8, 2017 at the age of 81.

Tom Carter (M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary; D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary, California) is the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dinuba, California. He is the author of 13 Crucial Questions Jesus Wants to Ask You and the editor of Spurgeon's Commentary on Great Chapters of the Bible. He has coached youth baseball, basketball, and soccer for more than twenty seasons.

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