Jimmy Webb

Jimmy Webb is an American songwriter, composer and singer known worldwide as a master of his trade, writing both music and lyrics.  His timeless hits continue to be performed and recorded by the industry’s biggest names. He decidedly crosses genres, having had hits on the pop, rock, country, R & B, disco, new age, hot 100, and rap charts.  A Webb song like “Wichita Lineman” is found on the set lists of Guns N’ Roses, Little Big Town, and Toby Keith all in the same season. Since his first platinum record “The Worst That Could Happen,” Webb has had many hits including “Up, Up and Away,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman, “Galveston,” “Highwayman,” “All I Know”, and “MacArthur Park”  a number one hit by both Richard Harris and Donna Summer. His collaboration with Glen Campbell changed pop and country music history– together they essentially created country crossover. Webb is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration.

 

 

Webb is an international touring artist, a performer who dazzles audiences with hit after hit, and his storytelling is unparalleled. As an author he writes books with the same aplomb as songs. His memoir The Cake and the Rain (2017) brings to life a 15-year span in Webb’s unique career, written with his signature sense of poetry and story. Webb’s first book, Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting, in addition to being a good read, is considered a “bible” among musicians and music students.

 

Jimmy Webb was trained in the sacred space of Motown and had his first commercial recordings there. Webb’s songs have been covered by the greatest voices including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Nina Simone, Isaac Hayes, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Tony Bennett, Michael Feinstein, Josh Groban—and of course, Glen Campbell. Frank Sinatra declared "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" as "the greatest torch song ever written," and said he enjoys singing Jimmy Webb tunes because "he has been blessed with the emotions and artistic talents of the great lyricists." Per BMI, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” was the third most performed song between 1940 and 1990. Webb continues to influence, write and record. He has released 13 solo albums, while also writing for other artists. In 2019 Webb released SlipCover, his piano interpretations of contemporary composers including friends Billy Joel and Randy Newman.

 

His numerous accolades include the prestigious Ivor Novella International Award (2012) and the Academy of Country Music’s Poet Award (2016). In 2016 Rolling Stone magazine listed Webb as one of the top 50 songwriters of all time. Jimmy Webb was the youngest member ever inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and is a chairmanemeritus. He served as the Vice Chair of ASCAP and sits on its board for more than 20 years. Time and again Webb has helped pave the way for songwriters in an ever-changing media landscape, spearheading the ongoing effort to preserve the rights of songwriters and their intellectual property in the digital age.

 

Webb is happily married to Laura Savini, a producer and host for PBS. He has five sons, the perfect daughter, and is grandfather to precious Josephine, Gita, Cassidy, Gia, and Luca.

 

“. . . A night with Jimmy Webb at the keys is not unlike getting to hear George Gershwin or Cole Porter live. It’s hard to believe one guy could have written all ofthese amazing songs. . . if you get the chance to see him live, grab it.  People ask my nobody writes songs like they used to.  Fortunately for us all Jimmy Webb still does.

Paul Zollo, Songwriters on Songwriting