Rick Diamond/WireImageGlen Campbell passed away Tuesday at age 81 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Songwriter Jimmy Webb, who wrote many of Campbell’s signature hits and worked with him throughout his life, recently told ABC Radio about his long friendship and fruitful collaboration with the multi-talented musician.

Prior to launching his career as a solo artist, Campbell was a sought-after session guitarist, playing on countless hits by a variety of music stars, as Webb noted.

“He could sit and play with any guitar player in the world, from George Benson to Eric Clapton. Paul McCartney knew he was a great guitar player,” Webb maintained. “And I think all this will come to the surface as the years pass and people realize what an extraordinary genius Glen really was.”

Reflecting on Campbell’s session work, Jimmy declared, “I think he’s one of the great largely unknown influences on American pop music in the ’60s, because he played on so many significant records…He was just, in his own way, I believe, as influential on American music as perhaps The Beatles were on British music.”

Webb admitted that when he and Campbell first met, their opposing political beliefs caused some friction — he was liberal and Glen was a Republican — but, he noted, they were able to put aside their differences.

“We established a place in the middle of our lives where we could work,” Jimmy explained, “and we could give reign to creativity and emotion, and reveal deep parts of ourselves as we worked on music.”

Webb also pointed that he had great respect for Campbell for deciding to tour late in his life, despite struggling with the effects of Alzheimer’s.

“He finished like a champion,” said Jimmy. “And maybe he was the bravest man I’ve ever known.”

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