Sonny Burgess, local country music artist as well as director of clinical programming at Cook Children’s Hospital was about to play “Gentle On My Mind” at a gig on Friday, Aug. 4, when he decided to tell his story of meeting Glen Campbell.
“I don’t know why I did that,” he said. “I never do that.”
Burgess said he idolized the Arkansas-born entertainer, but had never met him until he was in Los Angeles for a country music awards show. Burgess was staying in the same hotel as many of the acts receiving awards. In the morning he went to the workout room and there was Glen Campbell.
Burgess didn’t know Campbell, but another singer, Tracy Byrd, came in to work out and he knew both Campbell and Burgess.
Byrd introduced Campbell to Burgess. “He was very gracious,” said Burgess. Burgess continued running. “I usually run about 20-25 minutes, but I must have been on that thing an hour.”
Finally Campbell, who was doing various workouts, asked Burgess how long he was going to run on that treadmill.
“I said, ‘as long as you’re here. I don’t want to bother you, but I idolize you,’ I told him. He just laughed. He was nice about it,” Burgess said.
“I mean, he had an impact on me,” Burgess said. “I wanted to play like him, sing like him.”
More reaction to the death of superstar entertainer Glen Campbell:
“I’m very broken up to hear about my friend Glen Campbell. An incredible musician and an even better person. I’m at a loss. Love & Mercy.” — Brian Wilson, via Twitter
“RIP Glen Campbell – a great singer and musician who wrote and chose to cover great songs.” — Carole King, via Twitter
“Thank you Glen Campbell for sharing your talent with us for so many years. May you rest in peace my friend. You will never be forgotten.” — Charlie Daniels, via Twitter
“Heartbroken. I owe him everything I am, and everything I ever will be. He will be remembered so well and with so much love.” — Daughter Ashley Campbell, via Twitter
“Extremely sad to hear that Glen Campbell has passed away. My prayers and thoughts go out to him and his family.” — Blake Shelton, via Twitter
“Well Glen Campbell was special because he was so gifted. Glen is one of the greatest voices there ever was in the business. And he was one of the greatest musicians. He was a wonderful session musician as well, a lot of people don’t realize that. But he could play anything and he could play it really well. So he was just extremely talented.” — Dolly Parton, via video statement
“Dear Glen Campbell Rest In Peace As well as your incredible musical abilities you were one of the most down to earth ppl I have ever known.” — Peter Frampton, via Twitter
“Thank you @GlenCampbell for the artistry, grace & class you brought to country music. You were a shining light in so many ways.” — Brad Paisley, via Twitter
“I lost a great friend today and the world lost a great talent. Rest In Peace, Glen Campbell.” — Tony Orlando, via Twitter
“Saying Glen Campbell ‘lost his fight with Alzheimer’s’ is like saying ‘John McCain lost the war in Vietnam.’ That’s just not how it works.” — Jason Isbell, via Twitter
“I am so sorrowful, one of the most talented souls in the music world has passed…#GlenCampbell” — Melissa Etheridge, via Twitter
“Huge loss in the world of music today. Rest In Peace, Glen Campbell.” — Sheryl Crow, via Twitter
“Glen Campbell was one of the great entertainers and musicians of our time. Sad to learn of death of a great Arkansan and American.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, via Twitter
“Besides being an amazing solo artist, Glen Campbell was also a genius studio musician – as part of the Wrecking Crew – playing on recordings from The Beach Boys to Frank Sinatra. He was pure talent, heart, and courage.” — Lenny Kravitz, via Instagram
“Saddened by the passing of Glen Campbell, a great entertainer, a great man & a great Arizonan – thanks for the memories!” — U.S. Sen. John McCain, via Twitter
“The world lost a little sparkle today. Rest in rhinestoned peace, @GlenCampbell” — Kacey Musgraves, via Twitter
“Songs, songs, songs. Man, in a world of good stuff, his was great, in a world of great stuff, his was special!” — Tim McGraw, via Facebook
“We lost a music legend today. Rest in peace, Glen Campbell. Sending love and prayers to his family.” — Rascal Flatts, via Twitter
“Glen Campbell has forever left a mark on Country Music’s history. Our hearts go out to his family. ” — Country Music Association, via Facebook
“Our hearts are heavy by the passing of country music icon Glen Campbell. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Campbell Family” — Grand Ole Opry, via Facebook
“Saddened about Glen Campbell. A great loss. A complete talent. Fabulous singer. Virtuoso guitarist and a winning personality. He put up a great fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.” — Neil Sedaka, via Facebook
“What a loss. A great voice, great guitarist.” — Roseanne Cash, via Twitter