Glen Campbell says goodbye to Tulsa

A sold-out crowd descended upon the Osage Casino Event Center Tuesday night to say farewell to an old friend. Longtime country music star Glen Campbell brought his “Goodbye Tour” to town as he prepares to wrap up a career that has lasted over 50 years.

Campbell, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease early in 2011, performed masterfully in a set that lasted just over an hour. Helped with teleprompters to keep him on cue, there were a couple of small slip ups but Campbell, always a showman, laughed them off and kept rolling. By the time he hit the middle of his set, he was bending his guitar strings as well as he ever has.

Campbell was joined on stage by his three children who tried to keep Glen in line, as the four of them exchanged playful barbs throughout the evening, pulling laughs from the audience. Sons Cal and Shannon played the drums and guitar, respectively as daughter Ashley handled everything from keyboards to banjo.

Opening the show with “Gentle On My Mind,” Campbell came to the stage wearing a black shirt and black jeans with a blue jacket gleaming with rhinestones across the shoulders and down the sleeves. “I’m glad to be here,” he said to an audience that was already on their feet. Following with “Galveston,” and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” Campbell slipped out of his jacket for “Try A Little Kindness.”

“Where’s the Playground Suzy,” and “Didn’t We” followed before Campbell energized the crowd with “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Pausing for a guitar change, Campbell stopped to talk about True Grit co-star John Wayne.

“He never won one (Academy Award),” he said to Shannon, who quickly reminded him that the Duke, in fact, did win an Oscar for True Grit. Not missing a beat, Glen added, “that’s when moi came in,” drawing laughs and cheers from the crowd. “That’s the most nervous I’ve ever been, doing that (movie) with John Wayne,” said Campbell before singing his hit song that accompanied the film and shared the same title, “True Grit.”

Campbell then wowed the audience with a fantastic rendition of the Hank Williams classic, “Lovesick Blues,” before leaving the stage for a brief break. Ashley then took over the microphone and introduced brother Shannon who joined her for “Hey Little One.”

Returning to the stage, Campbell played “Any Trouble,” “It’s Your Amazing Grace,” and “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.” “I’m hitting licks I haven’t thought of in 30-years,” Campbell joked after jamming through “Country Boy.”

Glen Campbell photo slideshow


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

Campbell then closed out the show with a string of hits that drew loud standing ovations from the sold-out crowd. “Wichita Lineman,” led it off, with “Rhinestone Cowboy,” and “Southern Nights,” following. He ended his performance with “A Better Place,” from his latest album released last August. “Some days I’m so confused lord, my past gets in my way. I need the ones I love lord, more and more each day,” he sang.

“Thank you very much, God bless you, I love you,” said Campbell before bowing with his band. Before making his way off the stage, Campbell was presented with an accommodation from Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. The presentation prompted Campbell to grab the microphone and start off into “Oklahoma,” and the crowd followed, clapping their hands and taking the song through then end as Campbell left the stage.