Legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb, known for hits such as “Galveston,” “Worst That Could Happen,” “Wichita Lineman” and “Up, Up and Away” will make a special presentation at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., in Galveston.
Webb will share stories behind the hits he and the late Glen Campbell performed together throughout the years in his multimedia tribute to Campbell entitled “Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years.”
The show, which will blend Webb’s live performances with archival photos, personal video and recordings and dynamic video performances and graphics to add another dimension to the songs, will be Webb’s first time doing the show since Campbell passed away Aug. 8.
“This Galveston show will be a memorable one for me and the audience,” Webb said. “As you know, Glen and I had a rather big hit with the song ‘Galveston.’ In this production I demonstrate the difference between the song I wrote and how Glen interpreted it. To play it at The Grand is something I have always wanted to do. Glen’s passing was a great personal loss. I felt like I lost half of my being. It won’t be easy, but I have made a promise to our fans that I will continue to honor Glen as long as I can play the piano. This will be one of my most meaningful shows.”
Webb, who spent part of his childhood in Texas, heard his first Glen Campbell song when he was 14, while plowing a field in rural Oklahoma, he said.
“I said a prayer asking that I could one day write songs for that voice,” Webb said. “The songs I wrote from that day on were created with his voice in mind. Fate landed me in Hollywood and by age 18, Glen had recorded my ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix.’ He went on to record about 80 more of my songs. He also recorded four more of my songs for his last album, ‘Adios.’ We had decades as musical partners and lifelong friends. Our wives are dear friends. Our children hang out together and create music. It hurts to think he is no longer here.”
Campbell, who was a studio player as part of The Wrecking Crew for many years before he became a solo artist, made an indelible mark on American music, Webb expressed.
Songs such as Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night,” and “Help Me Rhonda,” sung by The Beach Boys, showcased Campbell’s unique guitar playing and voice.
“His (Campbell) solo career was a cross-genre phenomenon,” Webb said. “The songs we put out together are still being played 50 years later. When Glen had to stop touring because of his advanced Alzheimer’s, I wanted to create a show that shared the story of our collaboration and friendship in honor of his legacy.”
The show, which has gotten a great reception everywhere it has gone, Webb said, is constantly adding video components and changing the set list.
“This show has truly been interesting for me and a learning process,” Webb said. “This show is more structured because of the media elements, but really fun at the same time because of them.”
“Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years” will feature funny stories, true facts, personal histories and lots of music that tells the story of Campbell and Webb’s collaborations and music.
“Attendees will come away understanding my tremendous respect for his talent and character,” Webb said. “One of my favorite parts is where we share some of the hundreds of songs that Glen played on; the audience is always surprised. They’ll also get to see a different side of Glen during ‘MacArthur Park!’ It is pretty wild.”
Tickets range in price from $25 to $94 and can be purchased by visiting www.thegrand.com or by calling 800-821-1894. The Grand also is offering a 20 percent discount on this performance (use promo code GRAND).
And if you can’t make the show, don’t fret, Webb also shares his stories in his memoir “The Cake and the Rain,” which was released in April and available anywhere books are sold.
“When it came to friendship, Glen was the real deal,” Webb said. “He spoke my name from 10,000 stages. He was my big brother, my protector, my co-culprit, my John crying in the wilderness. Nobody liked a Jimmy Webb song as much as Glen!”