Mary was always an enthusiastic lover of pop music from her teenage years right through to her tragically young death, aged just 33. Aside from her love of British singer-songwriter Labi Siffre, her other passion was for US Country and Western performer Glen Campbell.
Over the course of a 55-year-long recording career, Campbell released over 60 albums and Mary was particularly enamoured of his classic 1975 album Rhinestone Cowboy, the title track of which she was known to sing along too, quite loudly, although Mary professed to having no musical talent whatsoever! Her friends still recall that Mary played his songs endlessly on her record player.
After a valiant fight against Alzheimer’s disease Glen Campbell died yesterday aged 81. In hindsight, the ‘hustling for success’ sentiment of Rhinestone Cowbody seems particularly poignant to Mary’s own struggles in her private life. Maybe that’s why the lyrics resonated so much with her.
“Well, I really don’t mind the rain. And a smile can hide all the pain…”