Jimmy Webb (Jimmy Layne Webb)
Photos with Jimmy Webb
BiographyElk City, Oklahoma, USA
Acclaimed singer, songwriter and composer Jimmy Webb was born on August 15, 1946 in Elk City, Oklahoma. His father was a Baptist minister. An avid lover of music since he was a little boy, Webb made his first public appearance as a performer playing the organ at his father's church. He also improvised, rearranged and re-harmonized hymns. Jimmy began his composing career with religious songs and fronted his own rock'n'roll band. The Webb family moved to Los Angeles in 1964. Jimmy attended San Bernardino Valley College and studied music. Webb's first job in the music industry was transcribing other people's songs. Read more... first song Webb wrote that was recorded was "My Christmas Tree" for the 1965 album, "Merry Christmas, the Supremes". In 1967, Jimmy really hit his stride as a songwriter; he penned the hit songs, "Up, Up and Away" for The 5th Dimension, and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" for Glen Campbell (this particular song had previously been recorded by Johnny Rivers on his 1966 album, "Changes"). Webb went on to write several more hit songs for Campbell: "Galveston", "Wichita Lineman" and "Where's the Playground, Susie". Other songs Jimmy has written are "MacArthur Park" for Richard Harris (Webb collaborated with Harris on the albums, "A Tramp Shining" and "The Yard Went on Forever"), "The Worst Thing That Could Happen" by Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge, "All I Know" for Art Garfunkel, "Adios" and "Easy for You to Say" for Linda Ronstadt, and "The Moon's A Harsh Mistress" for Joe Cocker. In addition, the ballad "The Highwayman" was a big smash country success when it was covered by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson in the late 80s. In 1969, Webb wrote and arranged Thelma Houston's album, "Sunshower". Jimmy's songs have been either recorded or performed by such diverse artists as Frank Sinatra, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Rosemary Clooney, Reba McEntire, R.E.M., Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Tanya Tucker, Arlo Guthrie and Tony Bennett. Webb's solo albums, "Words and Music", "And So: On", "Letters", "Land's End", "El Mirage", "Angel Heart", "Suspending Disbelief", "Twilight of the Renegades" and "Live and At Large", were all praised by critics. In 1983, Jimmy wrote the cantata, "The Animals' Christmas". He composed the scores for the films, 'Doc' (1971), The Naked Ape (1973), Voices (1985), The Last Unicorn (1982), The Hanoi Hilton (1987) and Clean and Narrow (1999). Moreover, Webb has scored episodes of the TV shows, Amazing Stories (1985), Faerie Tale Theatre (1982) and Tales from the Crypt (1989). Jimmy's songs are featured on the soundtracks for a bunch of movies that include How Sweet It Is! (1968), American Pop (1981), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), The Santa Clause (1994), Get Shorty (1995), Heat (1995), The Kid (2000), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), View from the Top (2003) and Chicken Little (2005). He is a member of both the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame. Jimmy Webb was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1999 and subsequently inducted onto the Board of Directors for the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in early 2000.