Multiple Grammy award-winning composer Jimmy Webb returns to Thrasher
Join us for a special performance by songwriter Jimmy Webb at the historic Thrasher Opera House on Friday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. Webb is the creator of some of this era's true classics, which have easily become a permanent part of the American musical landscape.
Jimmy Webb is that rarity in rock music, a professional songwriter who achieved stardom in that capacity. Between 1966 and 1969 alone, he was responsible for writing such platinum-selling classics as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Up, Up and Away," "MacArthur Park," and "Didn't We," producing and arranging the hit versions of several of those songs.
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. 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.” 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, Reba McEntire, and Shawn Colvin.
Clarifying himself as a romanticist, Webb’s use of vivid imagery simultaneously captures and involves his listeners’ emotions, which should come as no surprise to the songwriter who states, "I like words. I like the way they clash around together and bang up against each other, especially in songs.” In a progression of his celebrated talent as a lyricist, Webb continued in the 1990’s furthering his enormous range of interests by completing a best-selling book, Tunesmith: Inside The Art of Songwriting, a Hyperion ‘98 release. Released in soft-cover in the fall of ’99, "Tunesmith” is still considered by many to be the "Bible of songwriting.” In the book, Webb states, "the paramount joy of the craft is that, however simply it is begun, it can take the songwriter on a lifelong voyage across many distant and wondrous musical seas.” For Jimmy Webb, that’s a spectacular series of events indeed.
Embraced by his peers, Webb has influenced and affected some of the finest musical talents of our time. 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.” The late Sammy Cahn commented, "I think one of the real, real geniuses is Jimmy Webb. His "MacArthur Park” is a major piece of work, major. I’d almost compare it to Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue” in size and scope.” Billy Joel credits Jimmy as a major influence on his own foray into the music business. "When I was starting out as a songwriter,” says Joel, "I looked to Jimmy Webb as one of the most innovative and musically proficient songwriters of our generation.” The list goes on and on.
This project was supported in part by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Accommodations provided by the Heidel House Resort & Spa.