Oscars: Story behind Glen Campbell's swan song

Patrick Ryan
Glen Campbell performs at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., while on his Goodbye tour.

USA TODAY gets the stories behind the nominees for for best original song at this Sunday's Academy Awards.

I'm Not Gonna Miss You from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me

Written by: Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond

Performed by: Glen Campbell

How it came to be: Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease before the start of his 2012 farewell tour, which became the subject of a documentary, I'll Be Me. The last song he ever recorded, I'm Not Gonna Miss You, was co-written for the film by longtime collaborator Raymond, who was inspired by the country legend. "I remember he was speaking to a lot of people one day about Alzheimer's, and they were saying how sorry they were and how it must be such an awful thing, and I think it kind of bothered him," Raymond says. "He was talking to me later that day, and he was like, 'I don't know what the big deal is; it's not like I'm going to miss anyone anyway.' " Joined by members of the Wrecking Crew in the studio, Campbell recorded his vocals in about 4½ hours, as he was already in the advanced stages of the disease.

Staying positive: Now living in an assisted care facility in Nashville, Campbell is unaware of the Oscar nomination, Raymond says. The experience of being nominated has been bittersweet. "That's the best way to describe it, but he was always one of those guys that was always really positive and happy," Raymond says. "He used to joke about Alzheimer's and call it 'part-timers.' He was always kind of making light of it and making everybody else feel alright about it around him." And as bad as people may feel for Campbell, now 78, "the guy has lived like a thousand lifetimes," Raymond adds. "It's an awful, awful thing to go through, but man, if you could live one year of that guy's life, you probably would've covered everything and then some."

The morning he was nominated: "I was in the car line dropping my daughter off at school and all of a sudden my phone was blowing up with calls and texts and e-mails," Raymond says. "I couldn't pick up, because you're not supposed to pick up the phone in car line with a bunch of kids running around, for obvious reasons, so I had to wait to grab it. But I figured, (because) I got word the night before I should be available."