Campbell feted at 54th Annual Grammy Awards
The Grammy Awards celebrate not only a given year's recordings but the history of music in general.
Several Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are named each time by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and country-pop crossover star Glen Campbell will be one of them when CBS airs the 54th Annual Grammy Awards from Los Angeles' Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12. The event has a host for the first time in seven years: rapper and "NCIS: Los Angeles" star LL Cool J.
"It tickles me," Campbell says of his latest Grammy honor, after winning two for "Gentle on My Mind" and another two for "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" -- all in 1967. "They've really been nice to me throughout my career. I just think you do your job, and you try to do it the best you can and try to think up some new things. That's really what I've done."
Now on a farewell concert tour as he deals with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, Campbell is part of an impressive Lifetime Achievement class that also includes fellow country star George Jones as well as Diana Ross, the Allman Brothers Band, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gil Scott-Heron and the Memphis Horns.
"I guess when you get old enough, they lay all those accolades on you," muses Campbell, who also will team musically with nominees Blake Shelton and the Band Perry on the Grammy stage. Regarding a song he agreed to do as a favor once, he notes, "I don't remember which one it was, but it wasn't one that I really dug. From then on, I did songs I liked, and I sang them like I'd want to hear them. I've really been blessed to get songs from guys like (composer) Jimmy Webb."
With such other hits as "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston" and "Rhinestone Cowboy" in his catalog, Campbell also has made marks in television ("The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour") and movies (the original "True Grit"). He deems country music's current state "great. I don't know if I'd call it 'country rock' or 'crock' or what, but if you put a song out there, people know whether it's good or not. That's the way I always did it."
Among this year's Grammy nominees, Foo Fighters are back with six bids, with "Wasting Light" in contention for album of the year (their second time in that category) and best rock album (their sixth time). "It's been a really good year," frontman Dave Grohl reflects. "I think we finally hit our stride in that confident, 17-year-old-band way. I don't know what it is, but the shows got longer, and the audiences got bigger."
Grohl maintains "you never really expect that kind of recognition" when it comes to the Grammys. "It feels good to be appreciated for what you do, but the group lives in such a simple little world. It's right in the middle of the San Fernando Valley in an industrial section where nobody would expect us to be. Within that studio, we do everything, so we exist within this little bubble and don't pay too much attention to what goes on outside it."
Which isn't to say Foo Fighters haven't appreciated every nomination they've gotten. They'll perform at this year's Grammy Awards, and Grohl reasons the organizers "see us as guys who play instruments in a rock band -- and these days, that is getting harder and harder to find. I never got into this for a career. I was a high-school dropout stoner who worked at a furniture warehouse and loved playing music on the weekends."