Band Perry, Glen Campbell share Grammy stage
FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2011 file photo, The Band Perry, from left, Neil, Kimberly, and Reid Perry, pose backstage at the Grammy Nominations Concert in Los Angeles. The members of sibling country trio the Band Perry were first introduced to the music of legendary singer Glen Campbell as kids, back when their parents would spin his records over and over again. So when their folks saw the group rehearsing for a collaborative Grammy Awards performance with the 75-year-old, it was an emotional moment for the elder Perrys. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP,Chris Pizzello
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The members of sibling country trio the Band Perry were first introduced to the music of legendary singer Glen Campbell as kids, back when their parents would spin his records over and over again.
So when their folks saw the group rehearsing for a collaborative Grammy Awards performance with the 75-year-old, it was an emotional moment for the elder Perrys.
"Oh my goodness, let me tell you, at rehearsal I looked around like, 'Where did they go?' — and they're both out in the hall bawling their eyes out," lead vocalist Kimberly Perry laughed during an interview on Friday at the Staples Center following the performance.
"I was like, you guys, get it out of your system now. Because they were such fans of his music and understanding that they've walked every single step with us the last 13 years, to come and see all of that coincide on one stage — one of their heroes and their kids — it was just a really amazing moment for them."
The trio will perform "Gentle on My Mind" at Sunday's 54th Grammy Awards — to be broadcast on CBS and Global — with Blake Shelton offering a rendition of "Southern Nights." Then, Campbell himself will take the stage to perform his best-known hit, "Rhinestone Cowboy," with the rest of the singers providing backup vocals.
Campbell announced in June of last year that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, while also making public his plan to soon retire from the industry.
But the former television host sure seemed to be enjoying himself at Thursday's rehearsal, grinning between takes and throwing his arms around the other singers.
"Wow, that's a good song," he quipped after finishing "Rhinestone Cowboy."
"I wish I had about 14 more of them."
Kimberly Perry said that Campbell had been in a positive frame of mind all week.
"He's just such a dear soul," said the genial Perry. "Even with his diagnosed disease, you can tell he loves his music, he loves playing his guitar and his spirit is just shining this week."
And she said the group was ready to offer help should he struggle onstage.
"We know all the songs like the back of our hands and if he needs somebody to jump in, we certainly will — I'm sure Glen will do the same thing (for us)," she said.
It's been an exhausting week for the Band Perry, meanwhile, with the group jetting around the country to prepare for the Grammy gig while continuing to play shows. They flew into Los Angeles early Friday morning, then had to catch a flight after the rehearsal to perform with Brad Paisley in Eugene, Ore., later in the evening, with another show scheduled for Saturday in Tacoma, Wash.
"We are like Olympic sleepers," Perry said with a laugh. "We are champion gold medallists on airplanes."
The Tennessee natives, whose self-titled debut has been certified platinum since its 2010 release, actually have their eye on another kind of golden trophy this weekend: a Grammy.
They're up for best new artist, nominated against dubstep DJ Skrillex, indie-folk outfit Bon Iver and rappers J. Cole and Nicki Minaj.
While Kimberly Perry said the band was "really, really proud to fly the banner for country music," the trio isn't counting on claiming the award.
"Well, I tell ya, we don't get our hopes up because we don't want to be disappointed," Reid Perry said.
Either way, their parents will be nearby watching.
"With kleenexes in hand," Neil Perry laughed.