Monday, August 8, 2011

Why don’t we know the names of the people that make us happy? Since the early seventies we know Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, James Earl Ray and Bernie Madoff, all people that are known for really bad things. Can we name enough people that make us all happy? We all know that music makes us happy no matter what happens in our lives. Well, then we should know Jimmy Web. Yes, Jimmy Web!
He is a guy that wrote the songs for many of the top artists in the 70’s. People like Glen Campbell that everyone said I look like. He wrote his hit Galveston. Not too bad, I wouldn’t want to be known for looking like Charles Manson. He also wrote music for other great artists as well. People like The Four Tops, The Supremes, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Lisa Minelli and many others recorded his songs.
Linda Rhonstat, Willy Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Joe Cocker are more artists that recorded his songs. Many of his songs became big hits. Songs like "Didn’t We" of Frank Sinatra’s take on it. Jimmy wrote his first song at 12 years old that was later recorded by Art Garfinkel. He wrote that song while growing up in Okalahoma. There he was the organist for his Baptist Preacher father.
At 18 the family moved to Southern California. A year later, his mother died. His Father then decided to return to the mid-west. Jimmy stayed in California and made the rounds into the music industry. With a paper bag full of songs, his first song was bought by Motown records with a song for the Supremes to sing called Christmas Tree. He’s not very proud of it because it did not achieve the fame White Christmas did.
Up. Up. And Away was a big early hit for him recorded by The Fifth Dimension. He knew he was a hit when he went from $600 a year to , $60,000 a year to $600,000 a year. Being able to by his dad a Cadillac was a thrill for him. His songs always had a story behind it. By the Time I Get To Phoenix was about his ex-girlfriend. Motown rejected it but Glen Campbell loved his songs.
A song about a place was Wichita Lineman also requested by Glen Campbell. Galveston was about a soldier from Vietnam, then MacArthur Park came first performed by Richard Harris then made into a disco favorite recorded by Donna Summers. Her version became his only number one hit record.  The song is filled with metaphors about a romance gone bad.
These days Jimmy is sort of a song writing legend. He still writes songs and recently put out an album called Jimmy Webb Just Across The River. The recording studio was filled with stars like Billy Joel and other, singing oldies like All I Know. Nowadays you need a clean version of a song because all the songs are dirty. Recent junk like Celo Green’s Fuck You revised to Forget You.

No comments:

Post a Comment