We all know the hits of Glen Campbell: "Galveston," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and "Wichita Lineman," all written by Webb. So was "Up, Up, And Away" by the 5th Dimension, "The Worst That Could Happen," by the Brooklyn Bridge, and we can't forget the WTF was he thinking hit for actor Richard Harris, "MacArthur Park," where we all learned to not leave the cake out in the rain.
Jimmy Webb has the ability to weave a story of loneliness with simple, heart-wrenching lyrics. My favorite? The story of a telephone line repairman. Just think about that, a guy traveling away from home, alone all day with only the memory of what you have left behind, to keep you company.
Now read these lines. So simple but achingly beautiful.
"And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line"
Jimmy Webb is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, has won Grammy Awards, and just about any other award a songwriter can.
Let's celebrate his birthday with a little of his music.
Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, recorded one of his songs which gave their group its name. It went to #1 on the Billboard Country chart.
Art Garfunkel version of "All I Know" was on top of the Easy Listening chart for four weeks and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
And a song which placed #43 on BMI's "Top 100 Songs of the Century," The 5th Dimension with "Up, Up and Away."
Jim Webb. Songwriter.