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Jimmy Webb, June 16, Sapphire Room

Living legend

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Songwriters often play background roles, writing music and/or lyrics forever identified with the singer: Bernie Taupin wrote scores of lyrics for Elton John (he also wrote "We Built This City" for Starship); Jim Steinman composed music for Meat Loaf while Burt Bacharach did the same for Dionne Warwick. Jimmy Webb--whose most famous songs are probably "The Highwayman" and "MacArthur Park"--also wrote for other artists for most of his five decades in the music industry. Webb's songs have been recorded or reinterpreted by the likes of Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer ("MacArthur Park"), The Supremes and more contemporary acts like Urge Overkill and Keith Urban. Webb is now in the foreground. He is touring the country, singing his own songs and telling stories about how those songs and their recording came to be. His stop in Boise, as part of the local Americana Music Series, is a chance to witness living history.