The

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Nose

Musicians of Note

Jimmy Webb:
Ten Easy Pieces

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Jimmy Webb:
Twilight of the Renegades

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Jimmy Webb:
Just Across The River

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Jimmy Webb:
Still Within the Sound
of My Voice

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Jimmy Webb:
Live and at Large

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Jimmy Webb &
The Webb Brothers:
Cottonwood Farm

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Tunesmith:
Inside the Art of Songwriting

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~Video~

wleHow to Embed YouTube Video by VideoLightBox.com v2.5m
Glen Campbell
"Wichita Lineman"
(An Extended Version)

Enjoy the imagery of telephone poles stretching out to the horizon aong with images of Wichita through the years....

Play VideoHow to Embed YouTube Video by VideoLightBox.com v2.5m



The Lasting Effect of Jimmy Webb, Page 4 of 4

by Mike Fallon


Into The Internet Age

As for how I follow Jimmy Webb now, the Internet has changed all that. His own website www.jimmywebb.com has especially made a difference. It's like I'm getting reacquainted with a long lost friend. I see that he has been very busy these last thirty years writing music not only for radio, but he has expanded his musical output to include musicals, TV ("ER"), film scores, and even commercial jingles.

In 1996, Webb came out with his album, Ten Easy Pieces. Here he applies his own singing style and interpretation to many of his biggest hits that were made famous by others i.e. Campbell, Harris, Garfunkel, etc. It's amazing to hear these timeless songs performed in a whole new light. The songs are slowed down for the most part and sung with more intimacy — mostly just Jimmy Webb and his piano. Here and there he would alter the lyrics a bit. But on each of these songs he gives a very personal and deeply heartfelt performance. For these songs are his "children" as he likes to call them.

Here is a heart-wrenching performance by Jimmy Webb
from Ten Easy Pieces.

Jimmy Webb
"The Moon's a Harsh Mistress" sample


During the 1990's Jimmy Webb wrote probably the definitive book on songwriting, Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting. Completed in 1998, I think he took four years to write it. In his book, Webb brings his own expertise to the fore in explaining the process of songwriting. Plus he provides a cultural history of the American song. Webb also gives us his own history and background in songwriting.

YouTube has been a great source for watching clips of Webb performing his songs or talking about his latest album. Jimmy Webb's presence is all over the Internet now. I recently Googled "Jimmy Webb" and got 438,000 results. (I realize that some of those results are for Jim Webb, the U.S. Senator from Virginia.) Do a search of iTunes or Amazon.com and Jimmy Webb's music features prominently. This is especially true with Amazon's Jimmy Webb Store with all his albums, CDs & MP3s, along with his songwriting book, Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting, a biography, and a video introducing his latest album Just Across The River.

Recently I downloaded Jimmy Webb's new album Just Across The River. And with great anticipation I listened to all the tracks, and to my delight and not too much surprise, I found I love Webb's very beautiful unique singing voice as he caresses every song with his beautiful Oklahoma accent. And to share the singing of many of the songs with his special guest artists on the album — well that's icing on the cake. You know the cake with "all the sweet, green icing flowing down".

One of my favorite Jimmy Webb songs is "P.F. Sloan". You heard it earlier from his 1970 album Words and Music. Here it is 40 years later and Webb includes it on his new album. Like a fine wine, Jimmy's voice has aged to near perfection with many layers of maturity shining through in his delivery. And in this song his Oklahoma accent also shines through in all its beautiful full-bodied glory.

Jimmy Webb "P.F. Sloan" (Feat. Jackson Browne)
sample from Just Across The River


Now imagine you are in west Texas, or Oklahoma, or even Kansas (Wichita area) and you come across a row of telephone poles with their lines stretched as far as you can see to the horizon. And at that moment on the radio or on your iPod Glen Campbell Jimmy Webb comes on and sings "Wichita Lineman"...


Jimmy Webb
"Wichita Lineman"
(Feat. Billy Joel & Jerry Douglas) sample from
Just Across The River


Now wouldn't that be a beautiful and magical moment — that song and that view together.

Yes, Jimmy Webb, the lasting effect of you and your music is still there in my life as I'm sure it is in so many others.


Jimmy Webb
~Songwriter extraordinaire~





P.S. I never did become a songwriter as I aspired to. Call it laziness, lack of discipline, or the lack of elbow grease to practice enough. But the most likely culprit probably is my total lack of musical talent whatsoever. Then again I'm still alive and maybe if I get my butt in gear and study and practice really really really hard into my old age I just might become another Jimmy Webb (although an elderly one).

But then again that could never be... as Jimmy Webb is totally unique being unparalleled and incomparable as a songwriter and as a Musician of Note.




Mike Fallon
August 2010





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