Frank Sinatra declared “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” as “the greatest torch song ever written” and said he enjoyed singing Jimmy Webb tunes because “he has been blessed with the emotions and artistic talent of the great lyricists.”
Webb graces the stage of the Stockton Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 and may be ordered online at www.stockton.edu/pac or by calling the Box Office at( 609) 652-9000. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 90 minutes before the performance. For group sales, call (609) 652-4786.
The critical acclaim composer Jimmy Webb has received during his more than 40 years of success is as remarkable as the accomplishments they honor: he is a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriter’s 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 from the 60s until 1990, with “Up, Up and Away” on the same list in the top 30.
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 50, and was singled out in the Oct/Nov 2001 issue of Blender as “The Greatest Song Ever.”
Even singer/songwriter James Taylor was nominated for a Grammy in 2010 for "Best Male Pop Vocal" for his rendition of the song. The National Academy of Songwriters also named 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 when it referred to his astonishing string of hits, and commented on “Webb’s gift for strong, varied rhythms, inventive structures, and rich, sometimes surprising harmonies.” In 1999 Jimmy was inducted by actor Michael Douglas into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame as one of the State’s most celebrated sons, he was inducted onto the Board of Directors for The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in early 2000, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In 2011 Webb was unanimously elected as chairman of The Songwriters Hall of Fame, replacing Hal David’s 10-year reign in the same position.
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 earlier ones.
Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson hit #1 in the late eighties with another 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.
— News release from the Stockton Performing Arts Center