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If a picture’s worth a thousand words, this last photograph of legendary musician Glen Campbell surely tells the story of a lifetime, his lifetime.
There’s the story that the picture on the cover of the July 29, 2018 Parade Magazine tells. It’s one that reflects the true love and unwavering devotion shared between Glen and his wife, Kim. The couple would’ve been married 35 years at the time of the singer’s untimely death.
Still, there’s another tale worth telling; it’s the story behind the last photograph taken of Glen and Kim Campbell and more over, who took that photo.
Country music singer Marty Stuart, whose signature song is “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin'” and married Grand Ole Opry star Connie Smith, is also a highly-respected country music historian and photographer.
In was with that task in mind that the multi-talented musician had an opportunity to pay a visit to the ailing Campbell on the event of his 81st birthday.
Campbell’s wife, Kim and the family asked Stuart to visit Glen and photograph him and his family during their visit at his place of residence towards the end of his life, the Nashville Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center of Excellence.
Stuart was no stranger to memory care facilities or even the heartbreak of losing a loved one to dementia or Alzheimer’s; he understood the situation well.
The day Stuart took the family photos capturing Glen’s birthday visit with his family members was almost two years to the day of his dad’s death from complications associated with dementia.
Because of his past experience and upon meeting with Glen, the musician-photographer said he understood “what a special time that was.” He understood the importance of getting it right. Perhaps subconsciously, Stuart knew this might be the last photo opportunity the family might have.
As one might expect, the family attempted to cheer up Glen and help him celebrate his birthday. Stuart says the highlight of the day occurred when Glen began to lose interest in his guests. Marty had to think fast.
That’s when magic struck, Marty recalled. He stuck a guitar in Glen’s hands. Campbell actually began tuning the guitar and even strummed a few notes. Thathadn’t happened in years! Though it was short-lived, the flame did flicker for a few minutes. That was it.
On August 8, 2017, less than four months after Stuart photographed him, Glen Travis Campbell lost his battle with Alzheimer’s. Indeed, Marty Stuart had taken the last living photos of Glen Campbell and his family. To see more of Stuart’s photos he captured during Glen Campbell’s final days, check out Parade Magazine.
Just as the photos, the song you’re about to hear has meaning, too. Glen Campbell recorded “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” as the soundtrack to the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, which focuses on the singer’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and his final tour. Let us know what you think…