The National Guitar Museum announced that its annual Lifetime Achievement Award is being awarded to Glen Campbell, the legendary guitarist and celebrated performer.
Campbell is the seventh recipient of the award, joining previous recipients Honeyboy Edwards, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, B.B. King, Vic Flick, Buddy Guy, and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. Recipients are recognized for a lifetime of contributing to the legacy of the guitar and having a singular historical importance to the development and historical appreciation of the instrument.
“I would like to thank the National Guitar Museum for this great honor,” said Kim Campbell, Glen’s wife. “Glen’s dream as a young man was to be a jazz guitarist like his hero, Django Reinhardt. His years working with The Wrecking Crew developed him into one of the most versatile guitarists of all time instead. Very few guitar players have the opportunity—or skill—to play the variety of styles that Glen did through his 60 years of performing. Glen’s playing has surely inspired countless guitarists and will continue to do so as new generations discover his contributions to the canon of popular music.”
According to HP Newquist, the NGM’s executive director, “Glen is best known for his singing and performing career—which includes more than 50 million records sold—but equally important is his stellar guitar legacy which goes back nearly 60 years. His studio work as part of the famed Wrecking Crew and his tremendous virtuosity as a guitarist is an essential component of recorded music over the past half century. The names of the people he played guitar with make for a who’s who of the rise of pop music: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Ricky Nelson, and The Monkees, just to scratch the surface.” Newquist pointed out that “Glen’s work with guitar maker Ovation in the late 1960s during the run of his ‘Goodtime Hour’ TV show led to the popularity of electric-acoustic guitars, which forever changed the way acoustic guitarists performed onstage.”
Ovation has recognized Campbell’s influence on its own history with the introduction of the new Glen Campbell Signature Model acoustic/electric guitar. It is a hand-crafted recreation of Campbell's iconic “1771” model guitar with a mother of pearl Glen Campbell signature coupled with 1970’s vintage-style electronics to recreate the identical guitar tone of Campbell’s original six-string.
Campbell’s last tour was in 2012, when he announced he was retiring due to the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. "Glen and his family have been confronting his Alzheimer’s for some time now. We think it important to honor Glen and his legacy now while people can still appreciate his incredible achievements, and be aware of what he’s going through,” stated Newquist. “And on a personal note, I have to mention that the very first all-guitar album I ever owned when I was learning guitar was 'The Astounding 12-String Guitar Of Glen Campbell.' To this day it remains one of the greatest guitar records ever released.”
* * *
About The National GUITAR Museum
The National GUITAR Museum (NGM) is the first museum in the United States dedicated to the history, evolution, and cultural impact of the guitar. Its touring exhibition, “GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World” debuted in 2011 and is currently on display at the Buffalo Museum of Science in Buffalo, New York. The NGM is also curating an art exhibit at The Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio from now until April 16.
The Museum’s Board of Advisors is comprised of guitar greats Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Liona Boyd, Tony Iommi, and Al di Meola.