Glen Campbell is one of the most gifted and creative musicians in modern times. Long before coming into living rooms across the country in “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour,” the immense talent of the guitar “picker” from Delight, Arkansas earned him status in the music community. For years he was part of the Wrecking Crew along with drummer Hal Blaine, piano legend Leon Russell, and bassist Carol Kaye. These elite artists not only designed the “Wall of Sound” but served as a springboard for Campbell to show his musical gifts across every genre, including a stint as touring guitarist for The Beach Boys at the height of their fame.

There isn't an artist who doesn't know Glen Campbell and his catalog of work. Now in the late stages of Alzheimer's, the master musician himself cannot recognize familiar faces, and his memory for words and strings has dwindled. Nonetheless, Glen Campbell shares his voice more personally and poignantly than ever with the album “Adios,” with a chorus of love surrounding him.

The courage of goodbye

The tragedy of Alzheimer's disease is that it not only debilitates mind and body, but does so bit by bit so that even the people most cherished vanish in spurts, without any warning. In late March, Glen Campbell's wife, Kim, announced the heartbreaking news that her husband could no longer manage to play the strings that literally brought him life growing up in Arkansas, with his father's purchase of the instrument from a Sears & Roebuck catalog.

Among the songs on “Adios” is one called “Arkansas Farmboy.” The song was written by a longtime friend, Carl Jackson, and its story recounts Campbell's childhood memories growing up as one of 12 children in his sharecropper family. As late as last month, Carl Jackson thought “Arkansas Farmboy” was set to be the title of the album, then “Adios” was chosen.

“Adios” will be released tomorrow, June 9. The collaborative collection marks a final musical farewell. Glen Campbell was a testament to courage in his tour to support his 2011 album, “Ghost on the Canvas,” facing the reality of his condition. Backed by the constant support of his son, and his daughter Ashley -- a renowned musician in her own right -- Campbell poured himself out onstage, until his disease made it impossible.

That resilience was documented in the film “I'll Be Me.”

Joys above sorrows

“Arkansas Farmboy” is a delight to hear, with Glen Campbell's voice sounding as strong and full as ever over lively melodies. Making the ballad about being rich in love and unity while poor in substance was a worthwhile process for Carl Jackson. The bandmate wrote out lyrics in very large print, and teleprompters helped Campbell keep his place in the song. “His melodies did not go away for a long time after his ability to remember actual songs,” insists Jackson. Ashley Campbell added banjo on the track, and she loves what the album means to her father and the family.

Ashley relates that songs “Everybody's Talkin’” and “Funny How Time Slips Away” were her dad’s “go-to songs.” He also loved a sit-down sing-along with “A Thing Called Love” and “Don't Think Twice.” Those were among the tunes “engrained in his memory” and were the last that began to escape his mind.

Willie Nelson and Vince Gill join Carl Jackson in creating music with Campbell, but even dearer connections stand out.

Among Ashley's precious memories (according to Rolling Stone) is a line from the song, “Postcard From Paris,” which she sings with brothers Cal and Shannon. The ever familiar line of “I wish you were here,” couldn't be “more true or heartbreaking,” in her words. “I think it's really special that his kids -- my dad’s kids -- sang on that,” and everyone who ever loved a Glen Campbell song will surely agree.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!