Jimmy Webb

Induction Year: 1990

Birth Name: Jimmy Layne Webb

Birth Date: 08-15-1946

Place of Birth: Elk City, Oklahoma

With soaring, sophisticated melodies and elevated wordplay, Jimmy Webb became one of the most acclaimed and important pop and country songwriters of the twentieth century.

Webb wrote standards including "Wichita Lineman," "MacArthur Park," "Up, Up and Away" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," the latter of which was BMI's third most-performed song during the 50-year period between 1940 and 1990.

The son of an Oklahoma preacher, Webb bought a copy of Glen Campbell's "Turn Around, Look at Me" single when he was 14 years old, in 1961. He was immediately enamored of Campbell's strong voice, though Webb had no way to know that Campbell's voice would one day be crooning Webb's lyrics and melodies to international applause.

The Webb family's 1964 move to California brought the budding songsmith closer to the music business, and he went on to study music at San Bernardino Valley College. His first cut came in 1965, when the Supremes recorded Webb's "My Christmas Tree" for a holiday album. In 1966, Johnny Rivers signed Webb to a publishing contract and recorded the first version of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."

The next year, Webb rose to major prominence, as the 5th Dimension (a group Rivers produced) hit the Top 10 with "Up, Up and Away," and then Campbell's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" began its run to immortality. While "Phoenix" only rose to #26 on the Billboard Top 100, it was a #2 country hit, and Campbell's single sold more than a million copies. Frank Sinatra described "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" as "the greatest torch song ever written." "Phoenix" and "Up, Up and Away" won six Grammy Awards in 1968, with Webb taking home the all-genre Song of the Year prize for "Up, Up and Away."

Between 1967 and 1969, Webb scored six Top 10 hits, including "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and Campbell's epic 1969 versions of "Galveston" and "Wichita Lineman." Those songs secured but did not define Webb's legacy, as he would spend the following decades continuing to write, record and expand his musical horizons. He recorded as a solo artist, but his greatest successes came through the voices of greats including Campbell, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Ray Charles and the country quartet called the Highwaymen: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.

"All I Know"

Art Garfunkel1973 #9 pop, #1 adult contemporary
Amy Holland & Michael McDonald1994 
Five for Fighting2005 

"By the Time I Get to Phoenix"

Johnny Rivers1966 
Glen Campbell1967 #2 country, #12 adult contemporary, #26 pop
Harry Belafonte1968 #38 adult contemporary
Johnny Mathis1968 
Charlie Rich1968 
Conway Twitty1968 
Marty Robbins1968 
Frank Sinatra1968 
Isaac Hayes1969 #37 pop
The Wilburn Brothers1971 
Nick Cave1986 
Reba McEntire1995 
Lorrie Morgan2009 

"Didn't We"

Andy Williams1969 
Johnny Mathis1969 
Frank Sinatra1969 
Liza Minnelli1969 
Glen Campbell1969 
Cissy Houston1970 
Eddie Kendricks1971 
Barbra Streisand1972 #82 pop


Don Ho1968 
Glen Campbell1969 #1 country, #4 pop, #1 adult contemporary

"Home of the Brave"


"Honey Come Back"

Glen Campbell1970 #2 country, #19 pop, #4 adult contemporary
Roy Drusky1970 
Lynn Anderson1970 
Johnny Mathis1970 
Jr. Walker & the All Stars1970 
Jimmy Ruffin1970 

"If These Old Walls Could Speak"

Jimmy Webb & Nanci Griffith1994 

"MacArthur Park"

Richard Harris1968 #2 pop, #10 adult contemporary
Waylon Jennings1969 #23 country
Tony Bennett 
Donna Summer1978 #1 pop, #24 adult contemporary
Frank Sinatra1980 

"My Christmas Tree"

The Supremes1965 

"P. F. Sloan"

Jimmy Webb1970 

"Postcard From Paris"

John Denver1990 

"She Never Smiles Anymore"

Everly Brothers1982 

"Still Within the Sound of My Voice"

Glen Campbell1987 #5 country
Linda Ronstadt1989 

"Tennessee Woman"

Tanya Tucker1980 

"The Highwayman"

Jimmy Webb1977 
Glen Campbell1979 
The Highwaymen1985 #1 country

"The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"

Joe Cocker1974 
Glen Campbell1974 
Judy Collins1975 
Linda Ronstadt1982 
Joan Baez1988 

"The Worst That Could Happen"

The 5th Dimension1967 
Brooklyn Bridge1968 #3 pop
Jimmy Webb1996 

"Up, Up and Away"

Grammy Song of the Year

The 5th Dimension1967 #7 pop, #9 adult contemporary
Dionne Warwick1967 
Diana Ross & the Supremes1967 
Andy Williams1968 
The Ventures1970 

"Where's the Playground Susie"

Glen Campbell1969 #28 country, #26 pop

"Wichita Lineman"

Glen Campbell1968 #1 country, #1 adult contemporary, #3 pop
Tony Joe White1969 
Eddy Arnold1969 
Tom Jones1969 
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles1969 
The Meters1970 
Kool & the Gang1971 
Ray Charles1971 
Freedy Johnston1993 
Dwight Yoakam1997 
Wade Hayes1997 #55 country
Cassandra Wilson2002 
James Taylor2008 

Jimmy Webb

Induction Year: 1990