Glen Campbell’s ‘Duets: Ghost on the Canvas Sessions’: An Album Release and Exhibit

Linda Chambers, Britt Chambers-Hawker, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Steve Wariner, Kim Campbell, Julian Raymond, Dave Kaplan, Scott Seine

The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum recently hosted an evening brimming with nostalgia and celebration for the posthumous release of Glen Campbell’s album, “Duets: Ghost on the Canvas Sessions.”

The event, coordinated by Big Machine and Surfdog Records, not only heralded the new album but also introduced the Glen Campbell exhibit—a homage to the singer’s storied career.

Linda Chambers, CEO and President of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration saying “When you look around the entire museum, you can see and feel Glen’s work in so many of the other exhibits. We talk about the Musicians Hall of Fame representing all genres of music because studio musicians don’t play genres. They just play music. They may be playing a Country session in the morning, Gospel in the afternoon, and Rock ‘n Roll at night. Glen Campbell was that player,”.

The exhibit, which includes personal memorabilia from Campbell’s life, provides fans a deeply personal glimpse into his world.

The album itself, a compilation of duets, features the late Campbell, with various artists added posthumously. Stephen Curtis Chapman, a notable Christian music artist who spoke at the event, shared his awe and personal reflections. “If somebody had told my eight-year-old self that I would ever be involved in any way with something honoring Glen Campbell, I would’ve said ‘yeah right,'” Chapman remarked, emphasizing the surreal honor of participating in the event.

Kim Campbell, Glen’s widow, provided insight into the emotional significance of the exhibit and album. She shared anecdotes about the artifacts now housed at the museum, such as the suits Campbell wore and the guns he used in “True Grit.”

Reflecting on the exhibit’s personal items, she said, “The entire exhibit is made up of things we had around the house during our three decades of marriage…Glen would be so honored to be a part of the Musician’s Hall of Fame.”

The event also included heartfelt discussions about Campbell’s impact on other musicians. Steve Wariner, a long-time collaborator with Glen, shared his personal experiences, saying, “One of the greatest thrills of my life was getting a call one day and it was Glen, and he said, ‘Hey, Steve, I found this Ted Harris song that’s really awesome. It’s called The Hand That Rocks a Cradle. Would you want to do it with me?” Wariner recounted, showcasing the personal connections Campbell forged throughout his career.

Julian Raymond, a key figure in the production of “Duets: Ghost on the Canvas Sessions.” discussed the meticulous process of selecting artists for the duets, aiming to honor Campbell’s legacy while introducing his music to a new generation. Julian remarked, “They were all very careful of Glen’s voice. They didn’t want to do too much, and we always wanted them to do more, and we’d have to actually send it back and go, man, can you just sing a little more, sing more harmony here?” Raymond explained.

The album “Duets: Ghost on the Canvas Sessions.” features a remarkable lineup of artists collaborating with Campbell, including Elton John and Sting, adding a rich layer of musical diversity and star power to the record. The inclusion of such iconic musicians not only enhances the album’s appeal but also serves as a testament to Campbell’s widespread influence and admiration within the music industry.

The evening at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum was further enriched by the presence and contributions of Cal Campbell, son of Glen Campbell. Cal, a multi-hyphenated talent in his own right, shared personal memories of growing up with a father who not only dominated the airwaves but also nurtured his family with love and music.

Cal remembered that “He’d come over start jamming something along with you. Drums were the first thing I really gravitated towards, and he and I would just sit and play for hours. I’ll cherish it forever. Those were the greatest days.” Cal recounted, describing his musical upbringing in a home where collaboration was just a part of daily life.

Dave Kaplan, founder of Surfdog Records and a key figure in the production of the album, spoke about his connection with Glen Campbell and the genesis of the “Duets: Ghost on the Canvas Sessions” project. Kaplan, known for managing an array of distinguished artists, reflected on his initial disbelief at the opportunity to work with Campbell. He specifically noted how incredibly “disarming and humble” Glen was for such a big star.

The event also featured a poignant moment when award-winning Christian artist Stephen Curtis Chapman performed a song he wrote in tribute to Glen Campbell, evoking deep emotions in the audience. Chapman shared, “I wrote this a couple of years ago, I’m incredibly honored to get to share it with you all.”

He recounted his childhood memories of being mesmerized by Campbell’s guitar solos, explaining how he would slow down his records to understand the intricate play. “My first real guitar was an Ovation Blacktop because that was what Glen Campbell played,” Chapman said, highlighting the profound influence Campbell had on his musical career.

The song was a touching homage, with lyrics that walked through Campbell’s hits, evoking the landscapes and emotions contained in songs like “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”

The evening served as a powerful reminder of Glen Campbell’s enduring legacy, both through his music and now through an exhibit that captures his life’s work and impact. As attendees left, they were encouraged not only to explore the new album but to visit the exhibit, ensuring Campbell’s contributions to music and culture were celebrated and remembered. This event was not just a release party; it was a profound gathering of music industry giants, family, and fans, all united to honor a true music legend.

Alex Hawker

Alex Hawker

Hey. I’m Alex. I've been living in and writing about Nashville for over a decade now, and I'm excited to share all I've learned! Learn more about me here.

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may 15-18, 2024

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