Jimmy Webb

Johnny Mercer Award

The critical¬†acclaim composer and 1986 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Webb has received during his almost thirty years of success is as remarkable as the accomplishments they honor: Webb is the only artist to ever receive Grammy awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and, according to BMI, his “By The Time I Get To Phoenix;” has been the third most performed song in the last fifty years, with “Up, Up And Away” on the same list in the top thirty. Webb’s, “Wichita Lineman” has been listed in MOJO Magazine’s worldwide survey of the best one hundred singles of all time in the top fifty. The National Academy of Songwriters also name Jimmy as 1993’s recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award, although TIME Magazine was early to acknowledge Jimmy Webb’s range and proficiency back in 1968.

Though best known for the instant classics he provided for such artists as Glen Campbell (“By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Where’s The Playground, Susie”), Richard Harris (” MacArthur Park,” “Didn’t We”), the Fifth Dimension (“Up, Up and Away,” “This Is Your Life”), The Brooklyn Bridge (“Worst That Could Happen”), Art Garfunkel (“All I Know”), Linda Ronstadt (“Easy For You To Say”), Joe Cocker (“The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress”) and so on, Jimmy Webb continues to write songs that are as carefully crafted and magical as the older ones. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson hit #1 in the late eighties with a new Webb standard, “The Highwayman,” a ballad which won him yet another Grammy for Best Country Song of the Year, and a CMA Award for Single Of The Year. Webb’s own version of the song, one of several he performed at 1992’s Farm Aid V, was, according to Kristofferson, so “awesome,” that he invited Jimmy to join the group in another rendition of it several hours later. Linda Ronstadt, who has recorded a multitude of his songs throughout her recording career, included four of his efforts on her double platinum album, “Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind,” and scored a top ten in 1990 with her rendition of Webb’s “Adios.” With a discography that reads like a “Who’s Who” in the music world, Webb’s songs continue to grace a multitude of major recording artists’ albums, from Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney, to Urge Overkill and R.E.M..