By BECKY HARRIS
Log Cabin Staff Writer
When Glen Campbell said it was great to be back with kinfolks, we assumed he meant back in the Arkansaw, where we’re all sorta kin.
Well, he may have meant that, too. But before it was over, we met his two sons, Shannon and Cal; two daughters, Debby and Ashley — all in the show — and joining Campbell for some delightful three-part harmony were two brothers, Gerald and Shorty.
After the brothers sang “Hadacol Boogie,” “Right or Wrong,” and “I Want to Be Wanted” to much applause, daughter Debby asked the audience: “Any more Campbells out there who want to sing?”
The University of Central Arkansas’ Reynolds Performance Hall was filled Sunday afternoon with feel-good music, meaning Glen Campbell’s hits: “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Galveston,” “Where’s the Playground, Susie?”, “Wichita Lineman.” Campbell gave several shout-outs to composer Jimmy Webb. They’ve been called one of the most successful collaborations in popular music.
On his recent CD, “Just Across the River,” Webb calls Campbell: “...probably the greatest natural entertainer and performer that America has ever produced!”
In introducing the theme from “True Grit,” Campbell gave a self-deprecating nod to the late John Wayne, the first portrayer of Rooster Cogburn in the 1967 movie.
“I made him look so good, they gave him an Oscar,” Campbell said.
(The remake of “True Grit” by the Coen brothers, based on the book by Arkansan Charles Portis, starring Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn and Matt Damon in Campbell’s role, La Boeuf, opens Wednesday. A really good thing to come of this new “True Grit” is that a new generation will read the 1968 novel.)
Opening for Campbell was the band “Instant People” with lead singer Ryan Jarred on guitar, Cal Campbell on drums, Shannon Campbell on rhythm guitar and Siggy Sjursen on bass.
Directing it all from the keyboards was T.J. Kuenster, a member of The Glen Campbell Show since 1977.
After a mix of Christmas music and a solo performance by daughter Debby, Campbell closed with “Southern Nights” and “Rhinestone Cowboy,” the title of his autobiography, a best-seller in 1994.
Coming back for an encore, he performed “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” a Righteous Brothers hit, still the “most played song in radio history.” Campbell explained that he was a studio musician for the Righteous Brothers early in his career, in the early 1960s.
An entertainer for 47 years — and in his early 70s now — Campbell showed no sign of age, either in the highs and lows of his sweet, sweet vocals or his blazing guitar riffs.
The audience — all of us feeling like kinfolks — got more than we came for.
The Glen Campbell Show in UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall was a part of UCA Public Appearances. Next on the list is “Cats,” set for Jan. 18, but all tickets are sold, according to Jerry Biebesheimer, Director of UCA Public Appearances. For other ticket information, go to www.uca.edu/reynolds, 450-3265.)
(Becky Harris can be reached by phone at 505-1234 or by e-mail at email@example.com.)