In June 2011, Glen Campbell announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six months earlier. According to his family, symptoms of the disease had been occurring for years, becoming more and more evident as the years progressed.
Campbell went on a final “Goodbye Tour”, with three of his children joining him in his backup band and his final show was on November 30, 2012, in Napa, California. He performed “Rhinestone Cowboy” as a goodbye at the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony held on February 12, 2012, his final televised on-stage performance. Rhinestone Cowboy was his biggest hit and “Gentle On My Mind” a close second. His musical accomplishments were on a par with other top Country singers and are well recorded elsewhere.
Alzheimer’s has redefined his life and I have met many people who point to his amazing ability to continue playing music and singing long after he had entered the later stages of this insidious disease. There is something about musical therapy that sets it apart from almost every other form of memory stimulation other than the simple joy of human socialization and interaction.
I read that Glen Campbell is no longer able to communicate conversationally but is receiving musical therapy.
Of course Glen Campbell is not the only celebrity to suffer from the disease. In a recent post I chronicled Ronald Reagan’s struggles, and demise, but complimented his generosity of spirit in publicly announcing his condition and striving to press for research through a foundation to fight the disease. Other celebrities who come to mind in a similar way are Rita Hayworth, Charles Bronson, Perry Como and Norman Rockwell.
Music is something I personally enjoy and through my amateur guitar playing and singing it is fun to watch our Club Members respond during our day programs.
We have a number of musical groups and individuals who donate their time and talent to our cause and we are forever grateful to them. The Band on Fridays is a mainstay and I’m happy to report that another Band has joined us on a regular basis to play on Tuesdays. Kirby and his friends have started a new fun tradition on Tuesdays with singing and dancing enjoyed by all our participants and volunteers!
This last Tuesday we had a total of eight guitarists and singers in the band playing an eclectic selection of music. Congratulations to the staff at Memory Matters for arranging this, and our forever grateful thanks to Kirby and his friends. They even let me play a couple of songs with them!
“Gentle on my mind” is perhaps an appropriate expression for the wonderful therapy that music is seen to offer to each and every one of our Club Members every day of the week.
Please share this if you believe it would help someone. Call 1 843 842 6688 for more information on all of our programs, or for a confidential consultation or memory screening.