"I'll Be There" a Most Excellent, Moving Documentary
By Skip Sheffield
The Sad, Brave Story of Glen Campbell
Need a good cry? It is hard to remain emotionless while watching the poignant documentary "Glen Campbell: I'll Be There."
I used to feel a little defensive admitting I liked Glen Campbell and his "Goodtime Hour" TV show. Turns out I was not alone. A whole bunch of celebs much more talented than I go on record paying tribute to Glen Campbell as singer, songwriter, actor and virtuoso musician.
Directed by fellow Southerner James Keach, "I'll Be There" chronicles a final international tour embarked upon by Campbell, his young wife Kim, their three musical children Cal, Shannon and Ashley, fellow band members and crew.
Campbell went public with the announcement of his Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis in June of 2011. It was decided he would make a five-week "farewell tour" while he was still mentally and physically able. It was an incredibly brave thing to do, from the heart and completely sincere. The tour was such a hit it was extended through a year.
"I'll Be There" does not detour into the darker side of Campbell's life, though it acknowledges his many marriages (Kim Woolen, a former Rockette, is his fourth wife) and battles with alcoholism and drugs.
Music is one of the toughest businesses there is. Few if any remain unscathed. Campbell endured for more than 50 years as a session musician, songwriter, singer, actor and television star. Campbell was the artist most responsible for promoting Country music to the mass market. Don't take it from me. Hear the testimony of Blake Shelton, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Steve Martin, Chad Smith of the Red-Hot Chili Peppers, Bruce Springsteen, The Edge of U-2, Paul McCartney from a little group known as The Beatles and from former U.S. President and fellow Arkansas native, Bill Clinton.
Because I know first-hand what a harsh mistress music is, I give this my highest rating.