The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

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pljms
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The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby pljms » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:27 pm

I should imagine most of us here are at least interested in Jimmy Webb even if we're not necessarily committed fans. Below is the link to Google's page on his autobiography published on April 18th. Given his career trajectory I doubt whether Webb's publishers are too disappointed that the book only covers the period from the mid-1950s when he was a nine year old to the early 1970s with most if not all of his most famous songs already written. Judging by one or two reviews I've read of the book, his story-telling is somewhat more bitter in tone than it is for his shows.

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/ ... sc=y&hl=en
Last edited by pljms on Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Blair N. Cummings
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (new autobiography)

Postby Blair N. Cummings » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:26 pm

JW is still pissed off that no one of his own generation would accept him or his music. The fact, however, is that regardless of the length of his hair, how much pot he smoked, or how many millions he blew on coke over the years he just wasn`t a hippie. He was a pastor`s son from the Midwest with an anachronistic gift for writing standard pop songs of great beauty. Not bad, considering that those songs will live forever and that I haven`t seen (or myself been) a "hippie' since roughly `73.


Martin Johnson
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (new autobiography)

Postby Martin Johnson » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:45 am

The story of the southern baptist minister's son who migrated to California and became a millionaire by the age of 21 through his songwriting is such a romantic one that it should make for a fascinating memoir. Apart from jumping on the singer-songwriter bandwagon, it would be interesting to read his account as to why he became a recording artist in his own right and didn't just stick to being a writer, arranger and producer. I remember in the early 70s a friend of mine telling me that Jim Webb, as we knew him then, had released an album under the name Jimmy L Webb and it was supposed to be terrible and nothing like what you'd expect from someone who wrote those beautiful Glen Campbell hits. Was it just to prove his hippy credentials that the most basic instrumentation was used and instead of songs of the sweeping romanticism of 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix' and 'Wichita Lineman' we were confronted with the bitter cynicism of 'Songseller' and 'Dorothy Chandler Blues'? 

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (new autobiography)

Postby Blair N. Cummings » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:58 am

If Words and Music was supposed to establish JW`s "hippie credentials". it failed wretchedly. He was never less convincing than when trying to sing "rock songs" and the album cover photo made him seem to be channeling James Dean rather than John Lennon (or whomever). The production was terrible and the material sucked but for those harnessed into the track entitled "Three Songs", none of which he composed.
The follow-up, And So: On, was a bit of an improvement and Letters was lovely but all three Reprise albums tanked commercially and received zero airplay.

blueonblue
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (new autobiography)

Postby blueonblue » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:15 am

Blair N. Cummings wrote:If Words and Music was supposed to establish JW`s "hippie credentials". it failed wretchedly. He was never less convincing than when trying to sing "rock songs" and the album cover photo made him seem to be channeling James Dean rather than John Lennon (or whomever). The production was terrible and the material sucked but for those harnessed into the track entitled "Three Songs", none of which he composed.
The follow-up, And So: On, was a bit of an improvement and Letters was lovely but all three Reprise albums tanked commercially and received zero airplay.


I really enjoyed 'Land's End'....superbly produced album !
Can't wait for the book to come out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BD3Yq6zvLA

'blue'

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (new autobiography)

Postby Blair N. Cummings » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:52 am

Land`s End was terrific and was released in `74, by which time "hippie-dom" had pretty much heaved its last sigh.
El Mirage, the `77 album, was produced and arranged by George Martin and, to my ears, a bland misfire.
Columbia/CBS signed him in `82 and released the astoundingly mediocre Angel Heart.
A decade later came the so-so Suspending Disbelief. To date, that was the last truly "new" album. The `05 release, Twilight of the Renegades, was a compilation of out-takes and dressed-up demos but still his best showing since Land`s End. Since then, he`s been re-re-re-recording his greatest hits in various settings.
Supposedly, there`s an album coming consisting of previously un-heard songs but only time will tell.
Last edited by Blair N. Cummings on Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sara D
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby Sara D » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:07 am

This memoir should be fascinating and I'm glad in a way that the story apparently ends in the early 70s because for a couple of years in the late 60s Jimmy Webb's music was every bit as beautiful and exciting as the composer who so obviously influenced him, Burt Bacharach.

pljms
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby pljms » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:55 am

I've just heard the pleasing and yet poignant news that the final sessions recorded by Glen Campbell shortly after his 'farewell' tour in 2011/12 are to be released on an album fittingly entitled 'Adios'. The title track is of course a Jimmy Webb song, one of four featured on the album consisting of material Campbell hasn't previously recorded. The one exception it seems to me is 'Postcards From Paris' which I believe was recorded for and released as a bonus track on Campbell's 'Ghost on the Canvas' album. The two other Webb songs are 'Just Like Always' and 'It Won't Bring Her Back'. 'Everybody's Talkin'' which kicks off the album is featured in the article link below.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la ... story.html
pljms

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby Blair N. Cummings » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:30 am

Sara, I`m reasonably sure that JW turned in his complete memoirs but suspect that the publisher didn`t want to try to sell a 600-page tome. I expect a second volume in a year or two.
BTW, when he wants to, JW can write as beautifully as ever. The following was from one of his many un-produced musicals and may be my all-time favorite (if only because I haven`t been force-fed it for half a century). I only wish there were another version of this since I`m not the biggest Feinstein fan. Nevertheless, Webb arranged it and played piano:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGgULGm ... -c&index=1

Martin Johnson
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby Martin Johnson » Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:56 pm

pljms wrote:I've just heard the pleasing and yet poignant news that the final sessions recorded by Glen Campbell shortly after his 'farewell' tour in 2011/12 are to be released on an album fittingly entitled 'Adios'. The title track is of course a Jimmy Webb song, one of four featured on the album consisting of material Campbell hasn't previously recorded. The one exception it seems to me is 'Postcards From Paris' which I believe was recorded for and released as a bonus track on Campbell's 'Ghost on the Canvas' album. The two other Webb songs are 'Just Like Always' and 'It Won't Bring Her Back'. 'Everybody's Talkin'' which kicks off the album is featured in the article link below.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la ... story.html


That's a real surprise and an intriguing set of songs too. Out of the four Webb songs, 'Adios' would seem to be tailor-made for Campbell but the track I'm looking forward to hearing the most is 'Just Like Always ', a wonderful song I thought Webb absolutely nailed on his 'Suspending Disbelief' album. Here he is performing it almost as well on TV:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AM_I3dsW_CI

Hank
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby Hank » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:37 pm

Thats a monumental song and about the best vocal you’re ever gonna get from Jimmy.
Devastating.

pljms
Posts: 453
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:43 am

Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby pljms » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:26 am

Martin Johnson wrote:
pljms wrote:I've just heard the pleasing and yet poignant news that the final sessions recorded by Glen Campbell shortly after his 'farewell' tour in 2011/12 are to be released on an album fittingly entitled 'Adios'. The title track is of course a Jimmy Webb song, one of four featured on the album consisting of material Campbell hasn't previously recorded. The one exception it seems to me is 'Postcards From Paris' which I believe was recorded for and released as a bonus track on Campbell's 'Ghost on the Canvas' album. The two other Webb songs are 'Just Like Always' and 'It Won't Bring Her Back'. 'Everybody's Talkin'' which kicks off the album is featured in the article link below.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la ... story.html


That's a real surprise and an intriguing set of songs too. Out of the four Webb songs, 'Adios' would seem to be tailor-made for Campbell but the track I'm looking forward to hearing the most is 'Just Like Always ', a wonderful song I thought Webb absolutely nailed on his 'Suspending Disbelief' album. Here he is performing it almost as well on TV:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AM_I3dsW_CI


"Every day at least one time I look at your face in the back of my mind". What a line and it's so typical of Webb. Sadly, what's also typical of the man is that he never once performed 'Just Like Always' the several times I saw him in concert in the 90s. Anyway, I'm sure Campbell will work his magic on this as he has with countless Webb songs.
pljms

blueonblue
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Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby blueonblue » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:32 am

Beautiful 'obscure' JW song.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49GoBvY5X5k

'blue'

Martin Johnson
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:41 am

Re: The Cake and the Rain by Jimmy Webb (a memoir)

Postby Martin Johnson » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:15 am

It seems that for us in dear old Blighty the book is only available on import, at least for the time being. 

You can just imagine in early 1969 Peggy Lipton's record producer Lou Adler asking Jimmy Webb for something along the same lines of his most recent hit song 'Wichita Lineman' and Webb doing his upmost to oblige, even to the extent of including the words 'county' and 'line' In the title. Webb also arranged and conducted the session but despite that the single failed to crack the US Hot 100, in fact it didn't even 'bubble under':

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=55C_0TdfBak


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