Jimmy Webb is an American songwriter, composer and singer known worldwide as a master of his trade. His timeless hits continue to be performed and recorded by the industry’s biggest names, and his new compositions span the musical spectrum from classical to pop. This past year saw his “Wichita Lineman” on the setlist in three major artist tours – Guns N’ Roses, Little Big Town, and Toby Keith – and used prominently in an episode of the Netflix series Ozark. Not many artists can say they premiered a classical nocturne and had a rap hit with Kanye West (“Do What You Gotta Do” a central hook in “Famous”) in the same year, but Jimmy’s career is full of surprises. Since his first platinum record “The Worst That Could Happen,” Webb has had numerous hits including “Up, Up and Away,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman, “Galveston,” “Highwayman,” “All I Know” and “MacArthur Park,” and has also become a leader and mentor in the industry as a champion for songwriters.
Webb is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration. His numerous accolades include the prestigious Ivor Novella International Award (2012) and the Academy of Country Music’s Poet Award (2016). In 2016 Rolling Stone magazine listed Webb as one of the top 50 songwriters of all time. Jimmy Webb was the youngest member ever inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and served as its Chairman. He has also served proudly as the Vice-Chair of ASCAP. Time and again Webb has paved the way for songwriters in an ever-changing media landscape, spearheading the ongoing effort to preserve the rights of songwriters and their intellectual property in the digital age.
Webb is an international touring artist, averaging 50 shows a year. Webb is also an author – his memoir The Cake and the Rain (2017) brings to life a 15-year span in Webb’s unique career, written with the same sense of poetry and story as his many hits. Webb’s first book, Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting, in addition to being a good read, is considered a “bible” among musicians.
Jimmy Webb was trained in the sacred space of Motown and had his first commercial recordings there. Webb’s songs have been recorded by the greatest voices including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Nina Simone, Isaac Hayes, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Tony Bennett, Michael Feinstein, Michael Ball and Josh Groban. Per BMI, his song “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” was the third most performed song between 1940 and 1990. Webb continues to write and record, and has released ten solo albums, while also writing for other artists. In Spring 2019 Webb will release SlipCover, his piano interpretations of contemporary composers, including Billy Joel and Randy Newman.
Webb is happily married to Laura Savini, a producer and host for PBS. He has five sons, the perfect daughter and is grandfather to precious Josephine.