THE music of American country legend Glen Campbell provides the soundtrack to Darren Coggan’s earliest musical memories.
In fact, his parents possess a copy on cassette of a four-year-old Coggan singing Rhinestone Cowboy.
“His music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Coggan said.
Some 40 years later Coggan is still singing Rhinestone Cowboy, albeit on a bigger and more professional stage.
Coggan will bring his Like A Rhinestone Cowboy - The Best Of Glen Campbell show to the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January before taking it across Australia.
What separates Coggan’s performance from your typical tribute show is the personal touches and stories.
In 1997 a fresh-faced Coggan was invited to support the then 62-year-old Campbell on his national Australian tour. Like an apprentice working with a proven master, Coggan soaked up every piece of wisdom the prolific country and western star could muster.
“He made me feel welcome and he used to stand in the side of the theatre and watch my show each time and offer advice,” he said.
Coggan’s own personal insights into Campbell’s career and life are woven into the concert, alongside iconic hits like Gentle On My Mind, Wichita Lineman, By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Try A Little Kindness.
“He told me lots of great stories about his career,” Coggan said.
“There were so many things I didn’t know like how he played with The Beach Boys and before he was the superstar Glen Campbell he was one of the most sought-after studio musicians of all time.”
Coggan’s portrayal of Campbell has taken on greater emotional significance since The Rhinestone Cowboy rode off into the sunset in August 2017 aged 82, after losing his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“When he passed away I was very sad, like when any big inspiration in your life farewells it was a sad time,” Coggan said.
“I remember thinking my earliest musical moments are Glen Campbell, so I wanted this show to be in memory of him and give that real personal touch to it.”
Coggan launched his own career in 1996 when he won the Tamworth Country Music Festival Starmaker. He’s since won Golden Guitars in 2001 and 2009.
But over the last decade he’s perhaps best known for his tribute performances Peace Train - The Cat Stevens Show and Fire & Rain - The James Taylor Songbook.
Darren Coggan brings his Like A Rhinestone Cowboy show to the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre (April 5) and Lizotte’s (May 10).
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