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The Cake and the Rain is now available in paperback and as an audiobook – narrated by Jimmy himself! Click here to listen to a sample of the audiobook.




I drifted from the center of the room, where I’d greeted Nancy Sinatra, a sweet, straightforward kid my age, and her father who wasn’t really known for long, frivolous conversations. Nobody knew who the hell I was unless they were telepathic, which made it easier to slide through the seekers and sounders and find a friendly bar stool in the corner. I ordered a beer and swiveled to face the crowd, which had reached maximum spatial saturation, a point at which literally no person in the room can move in any direction for any distance. Networking shuts down. Now people just want to get out alive.

I laughed and wheeled around to devote my attention to the gold veins in the black mirror behind the bar. “These Boots Are Made for Walking” was just short of deafening on the sound system as I felt, rather than sensed, a person immediately to my right.

A familiar baritone bourbon voice reverberated in my ear “Jimma.”

The guy had bent over and put his elbow right down on the bar to talk to me. I eased my head around cautiously, not sure who had managed to move in so close. 


“Jimma!” he said again, and I found myself nose-to-nose and eyebrow-to-eyebrow with Elvis Presley.

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“During the late Sixties and early Seventies, Jimmy Webb was arguably the most successful mainstream songwriter alive, churning out sweeping, richly orchestrated hits for Glen Campbell, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra, among others. Webb’s new memoir, The Cake and the Rain, follows his rise from Oklahoma preacher’s son to L.A. pop aristocrat. At the heart is his struggle to carve out his own identity as he lived a double life as a Middle American fixture with countercultural artistic ambitions.” — Rolling Stone


“No one writes songs like Jimmy Webb does, and no musician ever wrote a biography like this. “The Cake and the Rain” is a dream of sin and redemption, told with contrapuntal rigor. And, yes, Mr. Webb explains the lyrics of “MacArthur Park” too.”

— Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal


“The Cake and the Rain” is full of colorful anecdotes, well told and entertainingly punctuated by the steady dropping of names.”

— Peter Keepnews, The New York Times


“The Cake and the Rain” has an almost cinematic quality, thanks to Webb’s evocative writing, and the book’s structure, which juxtaposes tales of Webb’s adventures in the music business with stories of his family.” — James Watts, Jr. , Tulsa World 


“Jimmy Webb’s life story is a remarkable, nearly improbable, tall-tale come true. His prose is so captivating and so singular that it literally jumps off the page. The Cake And The Rain is by turns, funny, heartbreaking, informative and always poetic. It’s as musical as Jimmy Webb’s greatest songs.”— Jay Landers (Executive Producer for Barbra Streisand, Josh Groban, Bette Midler)


“Jimmy Webb has been famous for his words for more than 50 years as the Grammy-winning songwriter behind classics such as “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “MacArthur Park.” But when it came time to begin writing his memoir, The Cake and the Rain Webb says he discovered a freedom of expression that he hadn’t felt before — one that comes outside the constraints of a three-minute pop song.” — Newsday


“Songwriter Jimmy Webb hits the high notes in The Cake and the Rain.” — Vanity Fair


“Part memoir, part confessional, part musical history, and part cultural studies, The Cake and the Rain chronicles Webb’s fantastical (and at times tortuous) path through the music world of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It’s a must-read for music lovers everywhere.” — Mark Mussari


“I love Jimmy Webb’s songs, always have. They are dazzling and form the soundtrack of ours lives, from “MacArthur Park” to “Wichita Lineman” and dozens of songs in between. Jimmy’s new book, “The Cake and the Rain,” is dazzling too. The life and times of this Oklahoma kid turned songwriter is told with the same tender, funny and often heartbreaking phrases and visions he works into his best songs. In Jimmy’s voice I hear the sound of the railroad train, the music of the birds, the secret music of love gone wrong and friendship gone right- and life pouring, burning, running through his fingertips and his powerful visions of flying all the way out and all the way back home. Beautiful book. Get it, you need it. ”

— Judy Collins


“There are popular songs, and there are great songs, and they are not always the same. . . It’s the fact that people are still singing and still listening to the songs Jimmy Webb started writing 50 years ago that’s a defining difference.”

— Patt Morrison, The Los Angeles Times


“I am devouring Jimmy Webb’s autobiography right now. “Tunesmith” took me inside Jimmy’s music (one of my favorite of my 1250 books). “The Cake and The Rain” takes me inside his life. There’s the 60s I know so well. There’s the extraordinary, gifted, friend of mine Jimmy Webb.”

— Art Garfunkel


“Amazing! One of the best music memoirs I’ve ever read - I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”

— Will Friedwald, journalist, author of Sintra! The Song is You: A Singer's Art


“For those who want a good—and at times incredible—story of muses, merriment, melancholy, melodrama, along with touches of ordinary life and multiple near-death experiences, this is your book … Fans who have attended his concerts through the years know full well that Jimmy Webb always has some fascinating tales that stand on their own, without the aid of some of the greatest melodies the human ear has been fortunate to catch. Here he gets to fill in the details of interactions with Elvis, Sinatra, the Beatles (and their individual members), Joni Mitchell, Richard Harris, a totally out-of-control Harry Nilsson, and even the Devil himself.” — Elmore Magazine


“Webb writes in a comfortable, conversational way, as though he’s telling a few close friends some stories from his fascinating life, and the book makes a great way for a music fan to pass a few hours.” — Booklist


“An insider’s view of the star-maker machinery and a treat for Webb’s many fans.”— Kirkus


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