Glen Campbell’s performing and recording days may be over, but his catalog won’t be in any danger of retirement, with Nashville powerhouse TK Kimbrell announced as the singer’s new manager Tuesday (May 31). Kimbrell takes over the reins from Stan Schneider, who’s handled Campbell’s career since his heyday in the 1960s, marking the turning of a page in one of the longest-running artist/management alliances in or out of country music.
While Kimbrell is best known as Toby Keith’s longtime manager, and TKO Management is the keeper of the late Chris LeDoux’s legacy, TKO’s biggest recent breakout has been rising star Chris Janson. The connection here isn’t a new one: Before signing Glen Campbell, TKO already repped his daughter Ashley, who recently released her debut single on Big Machine’s Dot label, and son Shannon, whose band Little Feather is signed to Curb.
“I’ve been friends with Glen for, golly, I guess 35 years,” Kimbrell tells Billboard. “So I remember some of the kids being born and have always heard them play music, so I started working with them. And having always been around and been great friends with Stan Schneider, it just worked out for us to have me come in to accomplish helping more generations discover Glen’s great music.”
Schneider will maintain his title as business manager, as well as holding onto the unofficial role of Campbell family brain trust. “Stan is everyone’s go-to guy,” Kimbrell says. “He’s worked with Glen since I think 1961, so he knows everything about his career and I can always turn to him and ask questions. Hopefully he’ll still be involved as he’s always been.”
Campbell himself won’t be involved in any meaningful way in his career going forward, given his advanced Alzheimer’s portrayed in the 2014 documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, filmed during and after his farewell tour and album. Kimbrell acknowledges the unique position of dealing with a living legend who “is not going to be able to go out and tour and work the new music like the way we do things. But he still gets a lot of press; the documentary was Oscar-nominated and won so many awards that it brought a lot of attention to his illness and his music.”
What will those new releases entail, since the also-Oscar-nominated “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” was touted as Campbell’s studio swan song? “There’s a lot of unreleased material through the years, dating all the way back to the early ’60s and going up through modern-day [material],” Kimbrell says. “Glen was always recording and discovering new songs and songwriters. So I want to make sure that unexploited, unreleased music gets heard, and use [the new releases] to help young people discover those other great records that he made.”